Festal and dated coins of the Roman Empire

Boyce, Aline Abaecherli
Numismatic Notes and Monographs
American Numismatic Society
New York
Worldcat Works




Open access edition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program.


Table of Contents




In recent years there have been a number of articles on the grouping into collegia and on the chronological arrangement of the Augustan moneyers whose names appeared on the Roman imperial coinage in the last two decades of the first century b.c. This article is of another sort; its chief purpose is to present a combination of obverse and reverse types known to have been struck by the moneyer M. Sanquinius in silver but appearing now for the first time in gold ( Plate I, 1). The new aureus adds a chapter to the history of the one college of the Augustan moneyers which struck coins in all metals—gold, silver and bronze. The existence of the coin proves that each of the two varieties of denarii struck by Sanquinius was matched by a corresponding variety in gold; and its discovery leads to a reconsideration of the meaning of the coins in the Augustan age.

In 1947 H. Mattingly published an article "Vergil's Fourth Eclogue," 2 and among the photographs used to illustrate it he included one of the coin described in BMCEmp. I, p. 13, 69, pl. 2, 19, the aureus of M. Sanquinius which shows a young male head surmounted by a star and a flame, or, if one puts the two elements together, by a comet. In BMCEmp. I, Mattingly, following convention, 3 had called this head "Julius Caesar deified," the comet evidently being a reference to the comet that had appeared in the course of the Ludi Victoriae Caesaris of 44 b.c., giving Octavian an excuse to place this symbol on statues of Caesar. 4 But in the list of coins for his article on Eclogue IV Mattingly showed that he had progressed to the idea that this head might be that of the young lulus (Ascanius), son of Caesar's proclaimed ancestor Aeneas. The flame in this case was evidently to be considered a reference to the portent of the flame on the head of lulus in Aeneid II, 679–704, which had led, after the appearance of a comet, to Aeneas' departure from burning Troy, and ultimately, to the founding of Rome centuries later. A double reference, to the deification of Caesar and to Caesar's ancestor lulus, seems not impossible, but an interpretation of the cometed head as that of lulus has long appealed to me as being more consistent with the young head. 5 Both interpretations, to be sure, fit not only the flame over the star but also the occasion for which the coins were struck. As the legend AVGVST DIVI F LVDOS SAE and the herald's figure on the other side of the aurei and denarii bearing this head show ( Plate I, 2, 3), these coins of M. Sanquinius were struck for the year of the Augustan Ludi Saeculares—17 b.c., 6 just a short time after the death of Vergil, poet and propagandist of the Augustan regime. Vergil had told the story of lulus and the portentous flame followed by a comet. Not only were both Julius Caesar and lulus associated with a comet, but in the very year of the Secular Games a comet was reported to have been seen. 7 Whom, then, does this head indeed represent? The arguments from literature on behalf of the deified Julius are indeed very strong (see n. 4) and they are further strengthened by Augustan coins (BMCEmp. I, pl. 6, 6–8 and pl. 7, 9) which bear the head of Augustus on obverse and star with flame and legend DIVVS IVLIVS on reverse, and also, it may be argued, by the coins struck under Tiberius in honor of Divus Augustus, with a star (but no flame) on the top of this head. But whereas these coins have legends defining the type, the youthful bust on the coins of Sanquinius is given no legend defining either portrait or comet. 8 The youthful quality of this head on Sanquinius' coins is the chief difficulty in identifying it with Caesar as Eckhel (Doctr. Num. 5, pp. 290–300) evidently felt, and it has been explained as symbolizing a rejuvenation of Caesar that went with his deification. Perhaps it is a matter of no importance where a question of deification is involved, but lack of any certain resemblance to Caesar on the specimens I have seen is as troublesome to me as the frequently youthful character of the head. It is the young head which brings Ascanius or lulus into consideration. But the interpretation of the head as lulus seems to me too particular, too piecemeal for the magnificence and grandeur of the Ludi Saeculares and the idea of a New Age which they symbolized. And one cannot fail to compare the indefinite and changing quality of this bust's features with the head of Honos on the rare aureus of the Augustan moneyer M. Durmius, which is attended by two stars, one in front, one behind (BMCEmp. I, pl. 2, 8; Bahrfeldt; Röm. Goldmünzenpräg., p. 142), a quality which suggests that the head is not a portrait.

There is yet something more to add by way of interpretation. New light may be sought from Pliny the Elder, who is one of the authorities (see n. 4) for the appearance of a comet shortly after Caesar's death (NH 2, 93–4). Pliny puts his account of the appearance of the sidus lulium into words which he reports as Augustus' own. If we read the whole of Pliny's statement we note that before and after quoting Augustus he speaks of the comet in relation to Augustus himself:

"In but one place in the whole world a comet is an object of cult,—at a temple in Rome. (Cometes in uno totius orbis colitur in templo Romae.) The divine Augustus considered this comet wholly propitious to himself (admodum faustus Divo Augusto iudicatus ab ipso). For it appeared at the beginning of his reign during the games which he gave in honor of Venus Genetrix shortly after the death of his father Caesar, under the management of a college of priests which he had established. In fact, he made known his joy in the following words: 'At the very season of my games [the Ludi Victoriae Caesaris] a comet (sidus crinitum) was seen in the North for seven days. It used to rise about the eleventh hour of the day and was bright and visible from all lands. The common people believed that the star meant that the spirit of Caesar had been received among the numina of the immortal gods and for this reason it was added as a symbol to the likeness of Caesar's head (simulacro capitis eius) which we shortly thereafter dedicated in the Forum.' These were the words he made public; but within his own heart he rejoiced because he deemed the comet to have appeared for his own sake and believed that he had been born under its influence (interiore gaudio sibi ilium natum seque in eo nasci interpretatus est). And to tell the truth, it was beneficial to the world."

It is clear that in this passage the story of Caesar's comet is set within a framework of reference to Augustus himself, for at the beginning and end of it Pliny is speaking of Augustus' concept of Caesar's comet, its importance for him and his rule. The comet worshipped is said to have been in a temple at Rome (colitur in templo Romae). The comet placed on Caesar's head and consecrated in foro may well have been a separate honor paid to the phenomenon. There were several such statues of Caesar in Rome (see n. 9). In a subsequent passage (NH 2, 98) Pliny speaks of some sort of celestial phenomenon which attended Octavian's entrance into Rome after Caesar's death. Vergil goes beyond this. On the shield he describes as having been fashioned by Vulcan for Aeneas (Aeneid VIII, 680–681), Octavian hinself is represented at the Battle of Actium with flames and the sidus Iulium on his head. In Aeneid I, 286ff., moreover, Jupiter foretells that the fame of the Trojan Caesar (Augustus), Julius descendant of lulus, will reach the stars and that with his victories wars will cease and law will prevail. Two decades earlier in fact Vergil in Eclogue IX, 46–50, had identified this comet with a time of prosperity, clearly the time of the present Octavian and the future Augustus. Commenting on these lines Servius Danielis, on the authority of a certain Baebius Macer, states that certain people thought the phenomenon, a stella amplissima, quasi lemniscis, radiis coronata, was intended to reveal the gloria of Caesar's heir, while the young Octavian himself said the portent signified the anima of his father, Julius Caesar, and placed a statue surmounted by a golden star in Capitolio, inscribing on the base, CAESARI EMITHEO. In the same Commentary a third opinion is then cited, that of the haruspex Vulcanius. Without relating it to any individual, Vulcanius publicly pronounced the celestial phenomenon to be a comet which signified the end of the ninth saeculum and the beginning of the tenth. It matters little that Vulcanius, as the story is told, having betrayed divine secret lore, foresaw his own immediate death and dropped dead before he had finished speaking. The importance of this story for us is that he had associated the comet with a new age. The memoirs of Augustus himself, specifically Book II, are given as authority for the story. The inconsistency of Augustus' attitude toward the comet as quoted and interpreted by Pliny and as related in the Servian commentary perhaps finds explanation in Pliny's reference to Augustus' public pronouncement and private feelings. Augustus, moreover, may have expressed himself differently at the time of the actual appearance of the comet and in his memoirs written much later. In any case, the identification of the comet with a new age in both sources is the crucial theme. The same concept is reflected in the comment of Servius Danielis on Aeneid X. 272: hie [cometes'] dicitur apparuisse eo tempore quo est Augustus sortitus imperium; tunc denique gaudia omnibus gentibus futura sunt nuntiata, "it [this comet] is said to have appeared at the time when Augustus took over the supreme power; then at last tidings of great joy would come to all nations." Obviously, then, celestial lore was associated with Augustus as well as with Julius Caesar, who had received it mainly through Augustus' efforts. 9 A transfer of emphasis from Caesar to Augustus was simple and suited the times. Much had transpired between 44 and 17 b.c. From Pliny's words we can see that the comet was something more than a symbol of a deified ancestor or a ruler seeking deification. For the comet had earned deification in its own right. By reappearing at the time of the Ludi Saeculares, moreover, the comet became the symbol of the inauguration of the New Age. Hence it appears (in the form of a star) on the herald's shield (BMCEmp. I, pl. 2, 20; on our examples it shows up best on the plated piece, Plate I, 3). It is then possible that the cometed head represented something more than an ancestor of the Julian House, more than Divus Julius, more than Augustus seeking deification. Unidentifiable as this young cometed bust seems, may it not be the New Age itself, the Saeculum, or to put it in characteristic Roman terms, the Genius of the Ludi Saeculares, 10 phenomenally brought into being by the appearance of a comet in the year of the festival? In this case we need not look for precise identification of a portrait. If it is at all possible that the child in Vergil's Ecologue IV was symbolic of a New Age, 11 then in 17 b.c., when the idea of a new age had fully matured and become widely known through the great poets, we may have not Caesar, not lulus, not merely Augustus, but the Augustan Saeculum symbolized by the Genius of the Comet which is itself deity and everlasting: sunt qui et haec sidera perpetua esse credant, are Pliny's very next words! 12 If Augustus believed, as Pliny states, that he was "born in this comet" (seque in eo nasci), then little could be more true of this "unidentifiable portrait" than that it was meant to represent the new Saeculum identified with Augustus and his comet: the Augustan Age.

Identification of Augustus and his successors with a new age or with stars is a concept appearing in imperial literature, as A. Alföldi has demonstrated in "Der Neue Weltherrscher der IV Ekloge Vergils," Hermes 65 (1930), p. 381. Professor Alföldi quotes passages from literature in which various emperors (Augustus, Claudius, Vespasian, Nerva, Domitian) are identified with a new age and/or stars (cf. Plate I, 4, 6). 13 This sort of identification may well have been intended on the coins of Sanquinius, for the features of the cometed head frequently resemble those of Augustus on coins of Sanquinius which have on one side, instead of herald of the games, a head of Augustus. It would not in any case be surprising to find similarity of feature between a portrait of Augustus and another bust which had to be imagined by the artist.

It has long been known that the type of the young cometed head was struck in combination with the type of the secular herald on both aurei and denarii ( Plate I, 2, 3, denarii only; for aurei see BMCEmp. I, p. 13, pl. 2, 19). But the variety which combines the cometed head with the head of Augustus has been known only from denarii. So far as I know, the herald type was not combined with the head of Augustus. Unless there should come to light bona fide coins (i.e., not hybrids) combining the herald type with the head of Augustus, this cometed head is the predominant type of the issue. 14 It is Sanquinius' chief obverse, taking precedence over the herald and the portrait of Augustus. The latter might therefore seem to have taken a strangely subordinate position in the issue. But we must remember that the cometed head is on the moneyer's side of the coin and may be considered for this reason his official badge. And the head of Augustus does not seem in a strangely subordinate position if the cometed head transcends the human form that we see beneath the comet and represents the Genius of the Festival, the Saeculum itself, a figure perhaps chosen by Sanquinius as the chief type of his coins because his year was the year of the New Age. Whomever or whatever this bust represents, it was conspicuously connected with the year of the Secular Games of 17 b.c., and it must be identified in the light of this connection and its predominant position on the coinage of Sanquinius. It might even be supposed that the type was a silent tribute to Vergil and the influence of his portents of comet and flames—no earlier or later coins show star with flame, a sidus crinitum. It was Vergil who had helped to make the comet a symbol of the destiny of the Julian House, and who, dying in 19 b.c., his work unfinished, had missed by a short stretch of time the public glorification of the new age for which he had written so much over the years. 15 In any case, the comet type was propaganda for the power of Augustus and his house. 16 A number of scholars, including Hardy (The Monumentum Ancyranum, Oxford, 1923, p. 104), Stuart Jones (The Cambridge Ancient History, 10, p. 150), Sutherland ("The Senatorial Gold and Silver Coinage of 16 b.c.," NC 1943, p. 42) and Grant (Roman Anniversary Issues, Cambridge, 1950, pp. 19, 163) have pointed out that the games took place ten years after the title of Augustus had been conferred. Whether or not this was coincidental or meaningful, it was an important year and an important event which the coins of Sanquinius celebrated. As with other moneyers' types, the types chosen were allotted on the one hand to an event, on the other to the chief "mover" of the event, the Princeps.

Coins were struck in all metals by the moneyers of 17 b.c., an unprecedented action, and one not repeated by any other Augustan collegium. Mattingly has already said (BMCEmp. I, p. xcvi) that this was perhaps in honor of the Ludi Saeculares. A more restrictive statement can be made here: that the only Augustan moneyer who can safely be said to have coined in the three metals was M. Sanquinius. He must have been the chief moneyer of 17 b.c. and more than an ordinary chief moneyer. This is why he issued the most significant coins of the year, the aurei and denarii for the Ludi Saeculares.

Aurei to match the denarii of the "herald" issue have long been known. But no aurei to match the denarius with the cometed head on one side and the head of Augustus on the other seem to have been listed. Such an aureus has now come to light, tending to support Pink's theory that one may safely postulate such pieces as seem to be required but are lacking. 17 Formerly in possession of Mr. Charles L. Morley (who has kindly permitted its publication here), and now in a private collection in Italy, this aureus ( Plate I, 1) is said to have been found in Macedonia. It suggests that the issue with the head of Augustus held equal status with the herald issue of the gold and silver of 17 b.c. and shared its subordination to the cometed head type (see n. 14). These issues clearly celebrate the secular year and cannot, therefore, be juggled around the years as they were at one time. 18 The new aureus has an importance beyond making an addition to its own numismatic group. For in its time it enjoyed special political status as a propaganda piece, and it is important now as a new document for the most famous of the imperial Ludi Saeculares, the Augustan Secular Games known to us otherwise from the festal hymn written by the poet Horace, from the acta inscribed in stone which mention that hymn, ( Plate A, b) 19 and from coins which commemorate the inscribed acta themselves (BMCEmp. I, p. 17, 89 and pl. 3, 12; cf. a similar cippus on coins of Domitian, Plate I, 8). These qualities, together with the apparent uniqueness of the coin today and its excellent condition, lend particular distinction to the new aureus of M. Sanquinius.

End Notes

The historical importance of the series to which this aureus belongs has been emphasized in such articles as C.H.V. Sutherland's "Senatorial Gold and Silver Coinage of 16 b.c.," NC 1943, pp. 40–49, and F. Panvini Rosati's "Le emissioni in oro e argento dei 'Tresviri monetales' di Augusto," Arch. Class. 3 (Rome, 1951), pp. 66–85.
"Virgil's Fourth Eclogue," Journ. of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 10 (1947). PP. 14–19.
Eckhel, Doctr. Num. 6, pp. 11–12 (Div. Iul.); cf. 6, p. 102 and 5, pp. 299–300; Babelon, Monn. Rép. Rom. II, pp. 417–18; Cohen (Jul. Caes, and Oct. 1); Grueber, BMC Rep. II, p. 78.
Pliny, NH 2, 94; cf. Suet. Div. Iul. 88; Dio, 45, 7, 1; Zonaras, 10, 13; Servius on Verg. Eel. IX, 47.
Cf. the deification (baby on globe surrounded by stars) of DIVVS CAESAR IMP DOMITIANI F ( Plate I, 6; see BMCEmp. II, p. 311, 62–3, image, image cf. p. 347, 246), and issues of M. Aurelius for Diva Faustina the Younger, BMC Emp. IV, pp. 655–6 and Jupiter, as Defender of the Emperor's Salus, surrounded by seven stars on the bronze coins of Commodus, BMCEmp. IV, p. 833, 679 (pl. 109, 14).
On the correctness of this dating see particularly Panvini Rosati, op. cit., pp. 76f.; on p. 71, however, he fails to note that Max v. Bahrfeldt in his Die Römische Goldmünzenprägung während der Republik und unter Augustus (Halle, 1923), p. 148, really dated the aureus with the herald of the Secular Games in 17, not in 15 b.c. (see n. 18 of this paper). The herald is a figure similar to the one on the coins of Domitian ( Plate I, 7, 8) struck for the Secular Games of a.d. 88, but Domitian's herald carries a simple wand, not a caduceus. Grueber, BMC Rep. II, p. 78, n. 1, discusses the type at length.
The importance of the coinage of the moneyers of 17 b.c. in imperial policy is brought out by Sutherland in an article on the moneyers of the following year (op. cit., p. 42). Dated coins of Mescinius TR POT IIX (=VIII) June 27, 16 b.c. June 26, 15 b.c., BMCEmp. I, p. 16, 85, image cf. 89, image referring to the Ludi (Augustus distributing suffimenta and a cippus inscribed IMP/CAES/ AVG/LVD/SAEC; to 1. and r. XV and SF, dated TR POT only) commemorate the erection and dedication of the cippus on which was recorded the official account of the festival. If L. Vinicius was the first moneyer to coin in 16 b.c. (Panvini Rosati, op. cit., p. 70, n. 1), then Mescinius might well have been issuing his coins close to the anniversary of the Ludi of June, 17 b.c. Just as his issues may be regarded as commemorative, so Sanquinius' herald type may be said to have been anticipatory of the games (cf. BMCEmp. I, p. 74, 431).
Julius Obsequens, Liber Prodigiorum, ed. O. Rossbach, 1910, 71 (131). We must, I suppose, consider the possibility that this story of the comet arose as a result of the coin types on which a comet appeared.
It may be significant that the legend AVGVSTVS DIVI F (the legend which soon, incidentally, came to dominate the gold and silver imperial coinage for the rest of Augustus' reign) appears not with this head but on the herald's side of the coin, and with Augustus' head on the variant reverse. Augustus' descent from the divine Julius is associated with the cometed head, then, only by suggestion, not by a clear definition of the head. The coinage gives the impression of a build-up for the divinity of Augustus himself, as does the consistent use of AVGVSTVS DIVI F on the gold and silver coinage for most of the rest of his reign; cf. the use of the star in front of the head of Octavian DIVI F on the large sestertii which bear on their reverses a laurel wreath encircling DIVOS IVLIVS ( Plate I, 4).
A statue of Caesar surmounted by the sidus Iulium was erected by Octavian in the Temple of Venus [Genetrix], Dio, 45, 7; for these statues in general see Suet. Iul. 88; Serv. on Aen. VIII, 681. Augustus' role in making propaganda of the comet becomes clearer when contrasted with the different interpretation of a later age, pointed out in one paragraph of R. S. Rogers' "The Neronian Comets," TAPA 84 (1953), pp. 242–3. For a recent discussion of the literature (non-numismatic) on the sidus Iulium and the importance of Octavian's utilization of it ("an event which symbolically commenced a new era of general faith in astrology in the West") see F. H. Cramer, Astrology in Roman Law and Politics, The American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1954, PP. 78–80.
Cf. the Severan figure of the Saeculum Frugiferum, radiate, and bearing caduceus and trident (BMCEmp. V, p. 20, 4: pl. 5, 18) and the figure of the Genius of the Circus on the rare aureus of Hadrian (BMCEmp. III, pl. 53, 5) which celebrates the 874th anniversary of the traditional birthday of Rome. Cf. also the discussion of Aion, P. Graindor, Rev. Belge de phil. et d'hist. I (1922), pp. 440–43 and C. Cichorius, Röm. Stud., 187f.
That the types of Sanquinius have more to do with Augustus himself than is apparent, and with the celebration of the present saeculum as an institution of his own, may be suggested in the fact that the herald carries a caduceus and may have been intended to suggest Augustus himself as the messenger of the new age (BMCEmp. I, p. civ; cf. the Augustan Acta Saecularia, 11. 25–8), since he was identified with another messenger, the god Mercury (e. g., in Horace, Odes I, 2, 43; see also K. Scott, "Mercury on the Bologna Altar," Röm. Mitt. 50 [1935], 225–30). One reason for attaching special significance here is that the herald on Domitian's coins for the Secular Games of a.d. 88 carries a simple wand ( Plate I, 7-8), not a caduceus. We have noted above that the caduceus appears in the hand of the Severan Saeculum Frugiferum, where the combination of legend and type makes clear the notion of prosperity implicit in the concept of the new age. Against identification of Augustus with the secular herald may be the evidence of the Augustan secular type, BMCEmp. I, p. 74, 431, if the figure opposite the herald represents Augustus.
On the comet as a symbol of the New Age (but not with reference to the coins of 17 b.c.), see L. R. Taylor, Divinity of the Roman Emperor, pp. 91–2; cf. H. Wagenvoort, "Vergils vierte Ekloge und das Sidus Iulium," Mededeel, der Koninkl. Akad. van Wetenschappen Amsterdam A fd. Letterk., Deel 67 (1929), pp. 18–21, 35, where the coins are mentioned only generally in an otherwise brilliantly analytical paper, which, incidentally, agrees with our interpretation of Pliny, NH 2, 93–4.
See L. R. Taylor, op. cit., pp. 112–15 and 176, and n. 23, p. 113, with a statement of indebtedness to E. Norden's Die Geburt des Kindes (Leipzig, 1924). Cf. the recent analysis of I. S. Ryberg, "Vergil's Golden Age," TAPA 89 (1958), p. 116, n. 15.
The star that can be seen on the herald's shield may be a symbolic reference to the Augustan saeculum. The star is clear on some specimens, not obvious on others, and perhaps was not engraved in all dies. The story in Dio, 54, 29, 8, relating to the appearance of a comet for several days at the time of Agrippa's death in 12 b.c., and the denarius of the flamen Martialis, L. Lentulus (BMCEmp. I, pl. 4, 14), which shows a statuary group (?) in which Augustus, identified by the clipeus virtutis C V, places a star on the head of a heroic or god-like figure bearing a Victory ( Plate I, 5: Divius Julius, not Agrippa, and the flamen Martialis, L. Lentulus, not Augustus according to Gsell, Babelon, and more recently, J. Gagé, Actes, Congr. Intern. Numism. 1953, Paris, 1957, PP. 219–227) suggest the progress of Augustus' use of celestial symbolism and indicate that he took for granted at least similar honors for himself. On gold and some of the beautiful bronze pieces struck for Divus Augustus by Tiberius, the first Princeps as Divus Augustus Pater is represented with a star (not a comet) on his head. On the bronze the head is radiate, and in front of it is a thunderbolt, signs of divinity unknown to any coinage struck for the divine Julius but steadily being prepared for the use of his heir from the time of Julius Caesar's death. The star as a symbol of divine quality had long before appeared in such positions as on the caps of the Dioscuri and at the diadem ends of Hellenistic kings.
A comet was certainly a more spectacular symbol for use as propaganda than a star, but stars were always available, while no ruler could count on a comet to make its appearance for his convenience. It is therefore not surprising that the stars continued to appear on the coinage for purposes of imperial propaganda, while the comet disappeared. It need not be added that a comet was sometimes regarded as a baleful, rather than a propitious symbol (e. g. Verg., Georg. I, 487f; see also n. 9 above).
I have not considered it necessary to discuss all the coins earlier than the coins of Sanquinius on which the sidus Iulium may have been represented. These may be found, along with an Appendix of literary sources in A. De Schodt's "Le Sidus Julium sur des monnaies frappées après la mort de César," Rev. Belge de Num. 43, pp. 329–403.
Table illustrating the predominance of the cometed head among the gold and silver types of Sanquinius:
Cometed Head Herald Head of Augustus
occurs with: 2 Ꜹ types: Herald Head of Augustus 1 Ꜹ type: Cometed Head 1 Ꜹ type: Cometed Head
2 image types: Herald Head of Augustus 1 image type: Cometed Head 1 image type: Cometed Head
Totals 4 2 2
Eclogue IV, 5, 52; Eclogue IX, 46–50; Georgics I, 498–501; Aeneid I, 286–94; Aeneid VI, 788–800. With Eclogue IV, 6 and Aeneid VI, 793–4 cf. Aeneid VIII, 324–5, a description of the Age of Saturn.
Passages from Vergil in which flames or stars betoken the destiny of the house of Aeneas are—Flames upon the head: of Ascanius, Aeneid II, 679–700. Lavinia, Aeneid VII, 71–80. Aeneas, Aeneid X, 270–5. Stars or Comet: of Aeneas, Aeneid I, 257–60; Aeneid X, 270–5; Aeneid XII, 794–5 (cf. XII, 166–7). Ascanius, Aeneid II, 679–700; Aeneid IX, 641–2. Descendants of Aeneas, Aeneid III, 258–9. The Latin name through their blood, Aeneid VII, 98–101, 270–2. Octavian (Augustus), Eclogue IX, 46–50, through the Caesaris astrum (cf. Horace, Iulium sidus, Odes, I, 12, 47, and Pliny, NH 2, 93–4, heralding a new age). Georgics I, 24–42, clear reference to possible indentification with various gods, adding of a novum sidus, and to actual cult; Aeneid I, 286–94, stars, cult, new age (peace and law).
Stated e. g., in his "Die Triumviri Monetales unter Augustus," Num. Zeit. 71 (1946), P. 119.
It is fortunate that Bahrfeldt (Die Römische Goldmünzenprägung, 141, 148), recognized 17 b.c. as the proper date for these coins (Panvini Rosati fails to note this in saying that Willers and Bahrfeldt placed Sanquinius' collegium in 15 b.c., cf. n. 6), though a casual glance at Bahrfeldt's catalogue will not reveal this. Panvini Rosati's "Le emissioni in oro e argento dei 'Tresviri monetales' di Augusto," Arch. Class. 3 (Rome, 1951), contains a bibliography of works on the Augustan monetales. One of the most recent articles on the moneyers is Konrad Kraft's "Zur Datierung der römischen Münzmeisterprägung unter Augustus," Mainzer Zeitschr.46/47, 1951/52 (abstract in NL Oct. 1953, pp. 309–10.
The inscriptions can be seen in Michelangelo's cloister at the Museo Nazionale delle Terme in Rome. The line of interest here reads: CARMEN COMPOSVIT Q HORATIVS FLACCVS. The published texts of the Augustan Ludi Saeculares are to be found in the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, vol. 6, no. 32323; cf. Suppl. (ed. M. Bang, 1933); H. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, no. 5050, and in Ephemeris Epigraphica, vol. 8, pp. 225–274, with a numismatic commentary by Dressel, pp. 310–15 and one plate of coins; G.B. Pighi, De Ludis Saecularibus, Milano, 1941.
The literature on the Ludi Saeculares is,.like that on Vergil's Eclogue IV, of course endless. But brief passages in Hardy, The Monumentum Ancyranum, p. 104; Jones, The Cambridge Ancient History 10, pp. 150f.; L. R.Taylor's The Divinity of the Roman Emperor, pp. 114f., 177–80, may be cited for having caught the spirit of the year 17 b.c. and the "Secular" atmosphere.


The most complete and ordered documentation for the history of Pompeiopolis in Cilicia under the Roman Empire comes from a scarce but varied series of coins issued in the city's name. 1 Pompeiopolis in Cilicia, called Soli-Pompeiopolis in many handbooks and catalogues, had its birth in the lap of the ancient Soli, as it were, as a result of the extensive and successful campaign of Pompeythe Great against the Mediterranean pirates in 67 b.c. Soli had been devastated and depopulated by Tigranes of Armenia in the decade preceding the establishment of the new foundation. The new city was created by Pompey at the height of his career for the purpose of rehabilitating some of the pirates—this was part of a general plan in accordance with which several such foundations appeared elsewhere in Cilicia and as far west as Patras and Dium in the Peloponnese and even, it is sometimes thought, as far west as Calabria. 2

The earliest coins of Pompeiopolis, struck almost certainly before the fall of Pompey in 48 b.c., seem to bear no dates; while under the Roman emperors the coins generally, though not always, indicated the year in which they were struck, i. e., the year from the city's foundation. A single coin with a year-date could establish dated coins for Pompeiopolis in the last days of the Roman Republic, and certain evidence for such coinage, though unknown to me, may exist. But evidence for dated coins among the early issues of Pompeiopolis cannot be found, as we shall see, on the issue which was once said to bear a date close to the Battle of Pharsalus and of which the best specimen known to me is in the British Museum (BMCLycaonia, Isauria, and Cilicia, p. 152, 48; Plate II, 10). One of the Greek letters forming the year date on this coin has been misread, and the coins of this issue fall not close to the Battle of Pharsalus but rather in the reign of Tiberius. The date (qς = 96, not Iς = 16) makes this clear, 3 though the obverse bears the head of Pompey, the city's founder. It is a tribute to their independence and to the loyalty of the Pompeiopolitans toward their patron, and also to the generosity of the Emperor, that the city's coins were still being struck under the early principate with their customary portrait of Pompey on the obverse. It is also consistent with Pompey's influence in the development of the principate and the importance of his work of organization in the East. So far as I know, an Emperor's portrait first appeared on the coins of Pompeiopolis under Nero. 4

The misinterpreted issue from the reign of Tiberius is of relatively superior quality when seen together with the rest of the city's coinage. It is a fitting document with which to begin an examination of the dated coins of Pompeiopolis. Though not of the early date once attributed to it, it is yet the earliest issue of Pompeiopolis known to me which indisputably bears a date. It still heads any list of the dated coins of that city. 5

In 1883 Imhoof-Blumer published his list of the dated coins of Pompeiopolis as part of a study dealing with some coins of the Cilician cities in the Zeitschrift für Numismatik 10, p. 296. In 1931 there appeared another list of the city's dated coins, this compiled by C. Bosch as part of a long list of the dated coins of the cities of Asia Minor under the Roman Empire. 6 From evidence accumulated or reconsidered since Imhoof's time and later than his subsequent references to the coins of Cilicia, 7 and from a wider background of numismatic material from Pompeiopolis than was in Bosch's hands, a more reliable list can be prepared. The revised list presented in this discussion may not necessarily be complete since the evidence is derived only from certain major national or other institutional collections and a few private collections.

Imhoof's list contained a dozen items from the "16th" year of the city to the "309th." The last he listed with a question-mark. As far as can be determined, neither of these dates has ever appeared on the coinage. Imhoof-Blumer's complete list and my commentary on it follow. I have omitted Imhoof's b.c. and a.d. equivalents of the dates indicated by Greek letters while retaining the names of emperors.

I. (16)
2. M∈ (45) Augustus
3. ϴMP (149) Domitian
4. ϴ⊏ (209) Antoninus Pius
5. ϴKC (229) L. Verus
6. BNC? (252) Commodus
7. ΓΞC (263) Caracalla
8. ΓOC (273) Caracalla
9. BΠC (282) Caracalla
10. ΓΠC (283) Macrinus
11. ςT (306) Gordian III
12. ϴT? (309) Gordian III

No. 1 does not exist. The evidence given for this date is a coin in the British Museum (BMCCilicia, p. 152, 48; Plate II, 10). The obverse of this coin has a head of Pompey, its reverse a standing Athena holding a Victory. Abbreviations of magistrates' names appear in left and right fields. Following the ethnic, ΠOimageHIOΠOΛITΩN, ETOYC Iς is read, Iς = 16. The first letter of the date is not iota, however, but q, making the date qς = 96. The date can also be read on an example in Copenhagen with the same dies as the BM piece. On similar specimens with the same obverse die but different magistrates' names on the reverse—in the British Museum, Paris, and Berlin—the date is in a different position and has been rather artificially rendered. In addition to this there are in a private collection (Dorsey Stephens) and at Berlin two smaller Æ coins with a different reverse type (seated Athena) and of cruder workmanship but showing the same date, the year 96. One at least, the Stephens coin, is in fine condition, affording a perfect reading of the date qς, following the ethnic. The written description I have from Berlin of the piece in the Münzkabinett there indicates that the year is qς. Whatever the foundation year of Pompeiopolis, this date would have to fall in the reign of Tiberius, probably a.d. 30/31 or 31/32.

Like no. 1, item no. 2 in Imhoof's list does not exist. Its appearance in the list results from reading as a date that which is evidently the abbreviation of a magistrate's name (M∈) on the reverse of a coin struck under Domitian but bearing the portrait of Pompey on the obverse ( Plate II, 16-17). Imhoof cited a specimen in Paris and one in his own collection. These coins are clearly part of the coinage struck under Domitian in two parallel series bearing the portrait of the Emperor in one series and the portrait of Pompey in the other. They have nothing whatsoever to do with Augustus or the Augustan age, as M∈, if it were a year-date, would require. In his article on the coin-types of some Cilician cities in The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1898, Imhoof did not include these coins in his discussion of Pompeiopolis.

Between nos. 3 and 4 should be placed a date under Hadrian, ϛqp (196). The only example of this coin known to me at present is in the Newell Collection at the American Numismatic Society ( Plate III, 20). Its reverse type is, like that of its predecessors, standing Athena holding a Victory.

Item no. 6 in Imhoof's list—"BNC?" for Commodus—I do not now know from any authoritative source. The date appears to have come from Vaillant through Eckhel. The examples of the coins of Commodus known to me—all bearing the water-deity, Pêgê Sounias, on the reverse—in the British Museum, Paris (2), Berlin, and the Newell Collections—are undated. Pêgê Sounias appears also on a Paris piece of Caracalla which bears the date ΓOC (273); but the coins of Commodus with this type seem to be undated.

For no. 9, which is listed correctly, Imhoof notes that ∈ΠC has been erroneously read for BΠC, 8 an error which Bosch did not avoid. It seems obvious that this resulted from a coin on which the B was in a poor state of preservation (see below p. 19).

Between nos. 10 and 11 there belongs a year (298) which appears on the coins of Julia Mamaea ( Plate IV, 27). Imhoof recorded this in Rev. Suisse de Num. 1908, p. 108.

For coins of Gordian III the dates ϛT (306), Plate IV, 28, and HT (308), Plate IV, 29, are known to me, but not ϴT (309). 9 Theta could easily be mistaken for Eta due to the poor condition of the coin at that point.

Later than any date on Imhoof's list of 1883 is IAT (311), well-attested for Philip I and Philip II ( Plate IV, 30, 31). This date appeared, however, in Imhoof's article on the Cilician cities in JHS, 1898, p. 169. The coins of Trebonianus Gallus, with those of his son, Volusian, which apparently ended the issues of Pompeiopolis, are undated.

Clemens Bosch, in his list published in 1931, begins with a date taken from coins bearing the portrait of Nero—the year listed is 131. For this date Bosch cites coins in Paris, Berlin, and Vienna.

There are two general groups (distinguished by the abbreviated names of magistrates) of Pompeiopolitan coins bearing the portrait of Nero on the obverse ( Plate II, 11, 12). The Berlin piece belongs to the group represented here by Plate II, 12, but this coin is in poor condition and there is nothing to indicate that a year-date can be read on it. The one Viennese piece known to me, issued under a group of magistrates different from those responsible for the Berlin piece and comparable to the Paris piece ( Plate II, 11), shows no legible letters which concern a year-date. All of the legible letters on it must refer to the ethnic or to magistrates' names. There are four Paris coins of the Neronian issue; two in each of the two groups known to me. All of these coins hold out definite possibility of year-dates, 130 for one group, 131 for the other. But the epigraphical difficulties are considerable and I prefer to suspend judgement until I have more reliable evidence. 10 The Neronian coins are too important to dismiss without thorough study.

While Bosch gives but one year-date for Nero, he offers two for Domitian, 149 and 152. The evidence for the year 149 is certain, for ϴMP can be clearly read on a number of specimens. The evidence for 152 is not quite as clear. An analysis of the Pompeiopolitan coins struck in the reign of Domitian is in order. From the evidence now at hand it appears that there are three main groups ( Plate II, 13-19). The first was supervised by four magistrates: AΛK, MA, MH, and NE ( Plate II, 13-15). These men issued coins with obverse portraits of Domitian and Pompey, each portrait represented by a single die. The obverses of Domitian and Pompey shared a single reverse die at first with MH and NE, AΛK and MA in the r. and 1. fields respectively. I have seen only one specimen of Pompey (a Paris piece) with this reverse die ( Plate II, 14). A second reverse die with a new distribution of the magistrates' names was made to go with the obverse of Pompey, MH, NE and MA being in the r. field and AΛK in the 1. field on the new die ( Plate II, 15). At present I know of this second reverse die only for Pompey. For this reason and because under Nero the imperial portrait had taken the place of Pompey's portrait—a practice which coinage struck under Domitian might be expected to follow—I am led tentatively to suppose that the coins with Domitian's portrait came first, followed by the coins with Pompey's portrait. Before this latter issue ceased a new reverse die had to be made to go with Pompey's obverse. All of these coins belong to the year of the city 149—the evidence for the date, the letters ϴMP after the ethnic, is clear.

The second group is less simple to define. Again we have the portraits of the Emperor and Pompey ( Plate II, 16-18). The same obverse die as for the first group was used for Pompey ( Plate II, 16, 17), but a new portrait die was made for Domitian with a new arrangement of his name ( Plate II, 18), suggesting that by now the obverse of Domitian made for MH, NE, AΛK and MA was well worn and had to be replaced. New magistrates appear on these coins—a basic criterion, along with the new die and the name-position of Domitian, for postulating the second group. The magistrates are ΔIO, AC?, CA, and M∈. The first three are in the left field, the fourth along the left rim of the coin ( Plate II, 16-18). A third group closely related to group two is represented by a single specimen in the British Museum (BMCCilicia, 57; Plate II, 19) with a similar obverse die of Domitian but the following magistrates on the reverse: ΔH, ΛA, and CA in the left field, and M∈ along the left rim. 11 In other words, the first two names haves changed from ΔIO and AC? to ΔH and ΛA. So far I have no examples of these last magistrates coupled with an obverse showing a portrait of Pompey. Such obverses may not, of course, have been made.

While the date on group one discussed above is clear (ϴMP), the date on groups two and three is not. For group three ( Plate II, 19) Bosch followed the reading of BMC, 57: BNP, that is, 152: but the condition of the letters following the ethnic is such that I prefer to postpone the acceptance of this reading until further investigation. A Paris piece (Domitian) appears to confirm the N (50), but N is sometimes easily confused with M on these coins. The P is clear. N and B might easily be something else; and a Berlin specimen, of which I do not have a cast or photograph, has been described to me as reading PM∈, i. e., ∈MP, which suggests that the date to be read on these coins is, as in group one, ϴMP (149), epsilon having been read for a worn theta in the case of the Berlin piece, and BN for ϴM on BMC, 57. If, however, there are two year-dates under Domitian, 149 and 152, two to three years passed between the striking of groups one and three (149 and "152") and we have to be willing to admit—because of the close relation between group two and group three—the use of the same obverse die of Pompey in the years 149 and 152. Up to this point it seems to me wise to assert the striking of Pompeiopolitan coins under Domitian in the year of the city 149, but to question the issue of Pompeiopolitan bronze under Domitian in year 152, or at least suspend judgment.

In Bosch's list, as in Imhoof's, no year is listed under Hadrian. This is not surprising, since the only coin I know at present which was struck for Pompeiopolis under Hadrian is in the Newell Collection at the American Numismatic Society and bears the date ϛqp (196) in the lower 1. field, Plate III, 20. Bosch's list properly lacks Imhoof's tentative item (6), a year-date 252? for Commodus. I find no evidence for any year-date on the Pompeiopolitan coins of Commodus known to me (see p. 15). On the other hand, Bosch omitted Caracalla's year-date 282 (which is in Eckhel, Doctr. Num. Vet. III, p. 69) and wrongly included a year-date "285" (Elagabalus), as did Eckhel (p. 69). The erroneous date "285" seems to me clearly derived from the misreading of BΠC (282) on coins of Caracalla. This is clear from the following facts. The piece cited by Bosch for the evidence is a Paris coin. There is no Paris coin of Elagabalus, and Eckhel's source (S. Havercamp, Nummophylacium Reginae Christinae, The Hague, 1742), though reproducing the date incorrectly on Tab. 28, gave the correct reading on p. 203 and properly attributed the coin to Caracalla, not Elagabalus. Eckhel knew that a date "285" would have to refer to the reign of Elagabalus and so changed the attribution to that Emperor. 12 Actually, the date is 282, the emperor, Caracalla. The B has been read incorrectly as ∈. It is not surprising, in view of this error, that Bosch's list lacks the year-date 282, which appears on the coins of Caracalla. The rest of Bosch's list is in general agreement with the revised list here presented.

Year of Pompeiopolis on Coins Imperial Reign Example of Coin Illustrating Year
ϴTiberius Plate II, 9, 10; D. Stephens, BM
PΛ? AΛP? Nero 11, 12; Paris
ϴMP Domitian 13, 14; Paris
15; BM
ςqp Hadrian Plate III, 20; Newell
ϴ⊏ Antoninus Pius 21; Paris
ϴKC M. Aurelius 22; Paris
L. Verus
ΓΞC Sept. Sev. (coins of Julia Domna and Caracalla) 23; Newell
ΓOC Sept. Sev. (coins of Sept. Sev., Caracalla, probably Julia Domna and Geta) 24; Newell
BΠC Caracalla 25; Paris
ΓΠC Macrinus, Diadumenian Plate IV, 26; Vienna
HqC Sev. Alexander (coins of Julia Mamaea) 27; Paris
ςT Gordian III 28; Vienna
HT Gordian III 29; Vienna
IAT Philip I 30; Munich
Philip I (coin of Philip Caesar) 31; von Aulock

There are coins of Trebonianus Gallus and Volusian, but they seem not to be dated. It is to be noted that the earliest date in the list is written from left to right, but from Domitian, if not before, the dates read from right to left. Omitted here but perhaps belonging with the single year listed for Domitian may be Plate II, 16-19, from Paris (16, 18), the Ashmolean Museum (17), and the British Museum (19).

The most striking result of this revised but still tentative listing is the removal, at least for the present, of the dated coinage of Pompeiopolis from the period of the Roman Republic. The dated coinage, beginning with the year 96, not 16, appears to have been initiated under Tiberius and evidently did not, as Imhoof thought, commence while Pompey was still alive. It is somewhat disappointing, I confess, not to have the first dated coinage fall close to the Battle of Pharsalus! But we now gain a truer picture of the coinage in respect to the indications of chronology on it, i.e., specific year-dates, and we are placed in a position to understand better the sequence of issues, their style, and the tradition of Pompey under the early Empire. The corrected date enables us to discover the sequence of some of the earlier undated coins.

Briefly, recognition of 96 as the correct reading of no. 1 in the list of dates helps us to discover significant points in the order of the coins, dated and undated. Two sizes of coins show the date 96—the large Æ of superior style cited by Imhoof-Blumer (head of Pompey, star in front/standing Athena holding Victory; Plate II, 10) and a smaller Æ known to me from the Berlin and Dorsey Stephens Collections (head of Pompey/seated Athena holding Victory; Plate II, 9). Besides the common year-date, 96, this difference between the two sizes of Æ is noticeable: that the reverse type of the larger piece is a standing Athena, of the smaller, a seated Athena. Both were struck under Tiberius and perhaps represent the last coinage issued for Pompeiopolis before an imperial head began to appear on the obverse instead of, or in addition to, the head of the city's founder, Pompeythe Great. The Pompeiopolitan coinage bearing the Emperor's head on the obverse has as a reverse type under Nero and Domitian a standing Athena holding a Victory. This type appears also under Hadrian and under Antoninus Pius (on whose coinage new reverses are introduced), and it appears occasionally in the third century right up to the end of the coinage, though lacking the Victory from the time of Gordian III. This convention of a standing, never a seated, Athena under the Empire suggests that the seated type of the year 96 ( Plate II, 9) preceded the standing type of the same year ( Plate II, 10). This is suggested further from still earlier and undated coins where there is a transition from a standing Victory type (not illustrated here) to the seated Athena type—a transition in this case made clear from the striking of both types by the same magistrates. The above brief analysis is sufficient to indicate the importance of the evidence of as many coins as possible for the establishment of a valid chronological sequence of both dated and undated coins. Analysis and discussion of the whole series must be deferred until the garnering of evidence has been completed.

End Notes

For a brief statement on the coinage and the city's history see A. A. Boyce, "The Harbor of Pompeiopolis," AJA 62 (1958), p. 67.
Strabo, 8, 7, 5 (388); 14, 3, 3 (665); 14, 5, 8 (671); Plutarch, Pompey, 28; Dio, 36, 37; Pomponius Mela, 1, 13, 71; cf. Appian, Mithr. 96 and 115; Livy, Per. 99; Veil. Pat. 2, 32, 4; Florus, I, 41, 14; Serv. on Verg. Georg. IV, 127; Probus on Verg. Georg. IV, 127.
See the detailed discussion, pp. 14–15.
The obverse with the Emperor's portrait is amply attested by specimens in the Paris, Ashmolean, Gotha, Berlin and Vienna collections.
On republican or possibly early imperial coins which may seem to bear year-dates, the letters seeming to be dates are, because of their place in the coin design, more probably abbreviations of magistrates' names. Those coins which show the head of Pompey and lack a year-date, and are not in sufficient supply to produce arrangement through die-study, will have to be arranged by the criteria of design and style, type- and magistrate- identities.
C. Bosch, "Kaiserdaten auf kleinasiatischen Münzen," Numismatik, Internationale Monatsschrift II (München, 1933), p. 62.
"Coin Types of Some Kilikian Cities," JHS 18 (1898), pp. 165–9; cf. brief references in his Monnaies Grecques (1883), p. 365.
ZfN 10 (1883), p. 289: on Havercamp, Num. reg. Christ., p. 202, pl. 28, 18.
Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum 3, p. 69 and Mionnet, Suppl. 7, p. 251, no. 377, record this from Vaillant.
On the first Paris piece illustrated here ( Plate II, 11) and representing one Neronian group, there are strokes which may signify the N at the end of the ethnic, though legible ethnics on Ashmolean and Viennese specimens indicate that the ethnic stopped short of this point. Following these strokes there appear I P (incomplete monogram for Pompeiopolis?) and ∈Timage (CTPA would be alternative though not so suitable): "of the Pompeiopolitan year 130" (? ). The second piece illustrated ( Plate II, 12), also a coin in the Cabinet des Médailles and representing a second Neronian group of Pompeiopolis, is the best specimen of four examples of which I have casts and photographs. All have the same reverse die and the piece in the Gotha Collection shows that the ethnic did not pass beyond the bottom of the right rim of the coin—this means that the few strokes visible along the left rim may represent a year-date. Are they ΛΛP=AΛP = 131? These strokes can be seen on a second Paris specimen. The problem of their significance is complicated by the fact that before image and ΔH (presumably abbreviations for magistrates' names) appear the letters Λ ΛP (so spaced). Do these letters represent magistrates (or a magistrate), as their position before image and ΔH suggests, or do these indicate a year date, A ΛP (131)?
BMCCilicia, p. 154, no. 57 reads ΔH, AΛ, KA, and, after the ethnic, BNP MH.
DNV 3, p. 69; Imhoof was aware of this error; see p. 15 above and n. 8.


In epigraphical and numismatic handbooks, offices and titles of the Roman emperors are usually listed without indication of the evidence on which such listings are based. Sometimes the evidence will be given for some of these offices and titles while omitted in the case of others. As an example of an office for which the evidence is never listed, the ninth consulship of Diocletian is a case in point. 1 The evidence for this consulship is both meager and little known.In the consular lists published by Mommsen in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, the ninth consulship of Diocletian can be found listed along with the eighth of Maximian under the year a.d. 304, 2 and it appears several times in the Codex Justinianus? 3 But evidence contemporaneous with the reign of Diocletian is exceedingly slight. So far as I know, an inscription mentioning this consulship has been found but once, in "rozzi caratteri" on the back of a stone on the front of which are inscribed the proceedings of the college of Arval Brethren from about the middle of the second century a.d. The Diocletianic inscription was published by R. Paribeni [Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1919, pp. 105–106) at the end of his edition of the Arval record ( Plate A, c). 4 The stone, once in private hands, is now in the Museo Nazionale delle Terme with the other acta of the Fratres Arvales. Apart from this crudely inscribed and scanty record, only rare aurei from the mint of Siscia and one papyrus, 5 provide direct source material for the ninth consulship of Diocletian. Mention of a tenth consulship naturally suggests that the ninth had been observed, and any document mentioning a tenth, 6 can of course be regarded as evidence for a ninth. But it remains true that precise information on the ninth consulship contemporaneous with Diocletian's reign has come down to us from but a fragmentary inscription, a few gold coins (only two are known to me), and a piece of papyrus.

Our concern here is primarily with the numismatic evidence. Two aurei mentioning the ninth consulship of Diocletian were listed by Karl Pink in his article on Diocletian's gold coinage (Numismatische Zeitschrift, 1931), one in the Trau Collection, one in Vienna. 7 That there are in existence other specimens is very likely.

After the publication of Pink's catalogue of the gold coinage of Diocletian and his colleagues, the Trau aureus passed through several sales 8 and eventually found its way into the Brummer Collection, whence, in 1949, it was acquired by the ANS. As one of the few documents recording Diocletian's last official consulship, and as a coin whose reverse type, as well as its reverse legend, is consular; this aureus deserves to be studied for its mint and type, as well as for its date, i. e., in its numismatic and historical background. A description follows:


Head of Diocletian r., laureate.

Border of dots.


Emperor st. three-quarters 1., head 1., laureate, wearing embroidered toga and holding globe in r. hand, short sceptre in 1.

Below ground line, SIS Border of dots.

↑ 19.5 mm. 4.9 gm. Plate V, 32

There seems to be no doubt that the ninth consulship began in a.d. 304 (see n. 2). The eighth had occurred in 303, and the abdication took place in 305. No major chronological problem therefore arises from our sources. The provenance of the sources is worth noting. The inscription is Roman, the papyrus was written in Egypt, the coins were struck at Siscia in the Balkans. The scanty evidence, then, comes from widely scattered parts of the Empire.

All of Diocletian's consulships from III through VIIII are recorded on the gold coinage. 9 There are several types bearing consular dates, but it appears that only our standing togate type was used for every consulship from III to VIIII, a fact which suggests the primarily consular character of the type. In order to give a complete picture from the evidence known to me, with all mints known to have struck the type represented, and all variants of the type listed, I have constructed a table listing the occurrence of the type at various mints for the various consulships. The material on which this table is based is from Pink's study of the gold coinage 10 and from such evidence as is provided by the coins and photofile at the ANS. 11

table of consular types
Diocletian Maximian
Mint Mark Consulship Sceptre? Yr. of Entrance Upon Consulship Sceptre? Consulship Mint Mark
III Sceptre 287
IIII Sceptre 290 290 Sceptre III
IIII No sceptre 290 290 No sceptre III
SMAΞ IIII No sceptre 290 290 No sceptre III SMAΞ
SMAΞ V No sceptre 293 293 No sceptre IIII SMAΞ
SMAΞ* V No sceptre 293 293 Sceptre IIII SMAΞ*
SMAΞ* VI Sceptre 296
297 Sceptre V SMAΞ*
297 ? V ·SMAΞ*
297 Sceptre V SIS
SMAΞ* VII ? 299 299 Sceptre VI SMAΞ*
·SMAΞ* VII Sceptre 299 299 Sceptre VI ·SMAΞ*
*SMAΞ* VII ? 299 299 ? VI *SMAΞ*
303 Sceptre VII SMAΞ*
303 Sceptre VII ˇSMAΞ*
303 ? VII ˇSMAΞ*
SIS VIII Sceptre 303 303 Sceptre VII SIS
SIS VIIII Sceptre 304 304 Sceptre VIII SIS
304 Sceptre VIII ˇSMAΞ*

(Where the question-mark appears the emperor probably carries a sceptre.)

consulships of diocletian and maximian
Diocletian Maximian
COS 284
COS II 285
288 COS II
COS VI 296
297 COS V

Note on Mints and Some Details of Style

It is pertinent to the subject to make some observations on the mints which struck the consular aurei. Besides pieces with the mint mark of Antioch (far surpassing in number the later consular aurei with the mint mark of Siscia) are aurei with no mint mark at all. They bear COS IIII types for Diocletian, COS III types for Maximian and have been assigned to both Cyzicus and Antioch. On these aurei the standing Emperor-Consul sometimes holds a sceptre, sometimes not ( Plate V, 34-38). An elongated globe in the emperor's right hand ( Plate V, 38), moreover, appears along with regular spherical globes. Such an elongated globe seems not to appear on mint marked aurei of Antioch. This elongated globe may therefore be considered a mark of Cyzicus. The attribution of these aurei to Cyzicus gains strength when one compares the portraits on the obverses with the portraits on the few available early specimens of Cyzicene "Reform" Æ coins of the Tetrarchy, which are mint marked. A check through the many Newell trays of Tetrarchy Æ reveals in the case of no other mint such identity of style with these aurei, the only other possible similarity of portrait style between them and the early "Reform" Æ being found at the mint T(icinum), where the neck-line is different. It may be added that antoniniani attributed to the same mint ( Plate V, 39, 40) have portraits closely similar to the portraits on the Cyzicene Æ and on the aurei of Diocletian (COS IIII) and Maximian (COS III) attributed to Cyzicus.

The point at which these issues acquired the mint mark of Antioch seems to have occurred when the last aurei of Diocletian with COS IIII PPPROCOS were struck. For though I have found no die identities in the material I have examined, (on the contrary the issues with the mint mark of Antioch show a deliberate change in the length of the diadem ends, for they are shortened), very similar portraits on certain aurei of Diocletian without mint mark but with elongated globe ( Plate V, 38) and on aurei with mint mark of Antioch ( Plate V, 41, 42) show that at least a die, if not an engraver of dies, for aurei moved from Cyzicus to Antioch. The gold coinage without mint marks ceases within Diocletian's COS IIII, while the gold coinage of Antioch with mint marks begins in the same consulship and continues into V, VI and VII. These facts seem to indicate that the whole aureus-producing section of the Cyzicene mint, not just one engraver, made the move: eastern gold was now to be struck at Antioch. The change, which must have taken place in 292 (COS IIII), was doubtless part of the reorganization connected with the establishment of the Tetrarchy in March, 293. The subsequent development into full Reform style aurei at Antioch can be seen on Plate VI.

On the reverses of the first Antiochene consular aurei the Emperor bears no sceptre. On the earlier aurei without mint mark there were "sceptre" types and "no sceptre" types, the latter being later as the accompanying simpler neck-line of the head on the obverse and the larger head approaching full Reform portraiture reveal. This explains the fact that the Antiochene issues of Diocletian before CONSVL VI and of Maximian for the earlier aurei with CONSVL IIII are without sceptre. The appearance of the sceptre in the hand of the Emperor at Antioch evidently took place in the fourth consulship of Maximian and the sixth consulship of Diocletian, therefore in 296 (see table of consulships above), as Plate VI shows, unless indeed an aureus can be produced which will show Diocletian carrying the sceptre at Antioch in his fifth consulship. The Antiochene consular issues finish then with the Emperor conspicuously bearing a sceptre. In this respect they resemble the ANS Siscian aureus which bears the latest consular date of all (VIIII). Finally, it may be worth repeating that a feature characteristic of many of the Cyzicene issues never occurs on the consular aurei of Antioch—the elongated or oblong globe in the hand of the Emperor. By contrast the globes on the Antiochene pieces always appear as true spheres. Particularly noteworthy in respect to this detail is the perfectly spherical globe in the hand of the consular Diocletian of Siscia ( Plate V, 32: also of later date than the Cyzicene pieces), for on it we see clearly two crossing bands, twice dividing the sphere into hemispheres. A close look at an ANS Siscian coin struck for Maximian's fifth consulship ( Plate V, 33) reveals the same attention to this detail. I find it on none of the other consular pieces illustrated here. 12

A study of the chronology of the mints as given by Pink in the article cited, and our knowledge of the transfer of the Cyzicene mint to Antioch in Diocletian's COS IIII (a.d. 290–292), suggest that our consular type could have been struck only at three mints, Antioch, Siscia, and Augusta Treverorum, for all other mints had ceased to strike gold by a.d. 303, the date of Diocletian's eighth consulship. Augusta Treverorum may not have been striking gold then, but we have reason to assume that Antioch, which issued relatively many consular aurei, may have struck COS VIII gold for Diocletian, as well as Siscia, a mint from which relatively few consular aurei seem to have been issued. For, since Siscia struck COS VIII pieces of Maximian, there may yet turn up now theoretical Antiochene COS VIIII pieces of Diocletian. 13

The existence of consular aurei of Diocletian and Maximian with the consular number points up the relative scarcity of consular dates on coinage immediately preceding their reign and on the inscriptions of their own time. In the second half of the third century consular years had appeared on the coins of all metals under Valerian and Gallienus, to judge from the material in RIC V, 1. Thereafter the practice of recording the consular year on the coins seems to have been used exceptionally, barring the Gallic Empire, where the tradition was carried forward. With Probus there was a strong revival of the usage, but the coinage of Carus seems to have lacked consular dates, and the light of this tradition flickered but faintly under his sons. 14 As for contemporary inscriptions, although epigraphical evidence is relatively slight at this period of the Empire, it seems clear that the consulship and other number offices and titles seldom appeared in the inscriptions of Diocletian. The later consulships particularly (after COS IIII) are lacking, as is revealed by a survey of material (chiefly from CIL) in Dessau, ILS and Ruggiero, Dizionario Epigrafico (pp. 1886–88, where the consulships are listed, though the tribunician years are the chief point of interest) and in the Année Êpigraphique. The almost complete absence of COS VIIII from inscriptions is probably due to the mores of the time as much as to our lack of epigraphical evidence in the fourth century. In any case this state of affairs makes the fourth century coins more precious than they would be if there were more inscriptions or if the custom of the time had been traditional. Diocletian had revived a once-honored and common practice.

Why was the consular number regularly recorded on gold coins and not in inscriptions? (Papyri are another question, being on the whole local documents.) The answer may lie in the constitutional character of the fourth century consulship and the manner in which a new consulship was celebrated.

As the reign of Diocletian advanced, the consulship became more and more prominent on the coins, 15 and the reappearance of its mention on the coins seems to indicate that it was itself being commemorated, and was not being used as a means of dating the document, as previously on coins and inscriptions and in imperial laws recorded later in the Theodosian Code. The types of the reverses support this impression.

An august name, glamor and honor still were identified with an office of which the real constitutional significance had melted into the past. 16 Diocletian must have renewed consular dates on the coinage for very concrete reasons, especially since the renewal was limited chiefly to gold, i. e., to aurei and gold medallions. 17 The consulship itself seems to have been the point of interest, not the consular number simply as part of a conventional recording of offices for dating the issues. The type accompanying the legend seems to bear this out.

The type representing Diocletian togate with globe and short sceptre is probably to be associated with the entrance upon a new consulate and with the attendant processus consularis. This is implicit in the combination of the type with a consular date attached to it as a legend, e. g., COS VIIII PP PROCOS, in the fact that the type appeared only on gold, a fact which may be due to the bestowal of largesses of gold upon the entrance by the Emperor into a new consulate. But actual proof for the association of the type with a new consulate and the attendant processus consularis is still required. It is only suggested, I think, in similar types of earlier date; actual proof can be found in later types.

It is not necessary for a coin type to be derived from earlier coin types rather than from contemporary life. Yet numismatic design, like other art forms, reveals a certain historical development; alternate dependence upon, and departure from, tradition. The remote forerunner of our type, which Diocletian used as early as his third and fourth consulships, 18 seems to be the togate figure of Antoninus Pius standing 1., holding globe in extended r. hand, ritual roll in 1. ( Plate VII, 51, 52). 19 Is this type consular? It bears the consular number, to be sure (COS IIII) but the type continued to appear long after Antoninus Pius entered upon COS IIII and consecutively over a number of years (a.d. 151–156), as is indicated by the annually changing tribunician number recorded along with the consular number. The use of the type under Antoninus Pius therefore seems not to have been related especially to entrance upon the consulship and the attendant festival. Let us look more closely at the details of the type, particularly the globe, which persisted, and the ritual roll, which gave way in the third century to a short sceptre.

Before Antoninus Pius, emperors had been represented on coins receiving the globe from predecessor or delivering it to heir and successor. 20 There were at the same time some variations on this theme, for Hadrian had been represented as receiving the globe as well as the sceptre from Jupiter, 21 and Nerva had received the globe from, or shared it with, the Senate. 22 The ritual roll in the hand of the emperor is an object familiar from sculptural reliefs and coins. But only when we come to the above-mentioned type of Antoninus Pius (globe in extended r., ritual roll in 1.) do we find anything similar to the third century type which more and more often substituted the short sceptre for the ritual roll. The point at which this substitution took place should give us our true prototype for Diocletian's standing types with consular dates.

A sceptre longer than those of which we are speaking appeared in the hands of M. Aurelius and Commodus respectively in some sacrificial and other scenes, 23 but when the Antonine emperor was shown standing or seated and holding the globe, he held also a ritual roll, not a sceptre. 24 The immediate predecessors of the Severi, using the type with the legend RECTOR ORBIS, seem not to have held the sceptre, but the roll. The transition to a type with the short sceptre seems to have come in the reign of Septimius Severus, not for the Emperors (Severus and Caracalla) themselves, but for Geta as Caesar, therefore before he was made Augustus in 209. The coin type to which I refer is dated, a fact to which we shall return. The coins bearing the type show Geta, called Caesar in the obverse legend, togate, holding globe and short sceptre. 25 This is a new type created by a slight change in detail.

This substitution of the sceptre for the ritual roll by Geta is a noteworthy example of a general trend toward the increased use of the sceptre. The part played by the sceptre in the ritual of the period is illustrated by the text of the Severan Acta Saecularia, records of the Secular Games inscribed in stone and still preserved in Michelangelo's cloisters at the Museo Nazionale delle Terme built in the ruined walls of the Baths of Diocletian. 26 The sceptre of this ritual can also be seen on the coins. At this festival in a.d. 204 Geta as Caesar shared with the Augusti, his father and brother, the assumption of the ivory sceptre (scipio eburneus) during the rites described in the Acta. 27 This, and his assumption while still Caesar of the globe and sceptre in the manner of the earlier globe and roll representations of the Antonines and the immediate predecessors of the Severi (Didius Julianus as Rector Orbis) betoken extraordinary honors for the young prince. 28 Extraordinary, that is, from the point of view of tradition, not from the point of view of the present. 29

The legend encircling the type of Geta togate with globe and sceptre is PONTIF COS II. Since Geta entered upon his second consulship on January 1, 208, 30 the coins must have been struck for that date or after it, and before the coins which bear the legend PONTIF TR P COS II (BMCEmp. V, p. 359, 15, pl. 53, 8, placed in a.d. 209). 31 A possible date is 208 for at least some of those with PONTIF COS II, especially for those which appear to be celebrating the new consulship, if they can be dated earlier than others of the issue. Some of these PONTIF COS II coin types are clearly earlier than others, among them the strictly consular types.

Relative arrangement of this type within the whole group of Geta's PONTIF COS II coins should be possible, since it was during the use of this legend that Geta's portrait passed from beardless to bearded, as the list below and Plates VII-VIII show, though portraits without a slight trace of beard are few. The point at which the portraiture passes from "almost beardless" to well or fully bearded can be seen in the production of the type described in BMCEmp. V, p. 274 as a "Genius holding corn ears" (E—G below), actually Bonus Eventus, 32 a type the continuous issue of which bridges the period of PONTIF COS II between slightly bearded and fully bearded portraits of Geta. The Bonus Eventus type is also the issue in the course of which we pass from clothed bust to a portrait of Geta which terminated in the bare neck, a portrait which does not appear with Geta's togate (sacrificing and consular) reverse types (A—B below). The full beard with clothed bust seems to appear first, then full beard with bare neck, the two developments not being quite synchronized. The evidence falls quite naturally into the following classification, which is clearly chronological:

End Notes

For attention to this detail under Antoninus Pius, see BMCEmp. IV, pl. 16, nos. 2, 5.
Pink has great confidence in the theory that unknown pieces postulated through knowledge of the coinage may yet actually turn up. Since we have a Siscian aureus of Maximian struck for COS V (Newell, Plate V, 33), an aureus of Siscia struck for Diocletian's COS VI may yet turn up.
Constantine continued the practice of commemorating the consulship with consular number on gold, but later it disappeared again. While there are some dated coins under the late Empire (even under Theodosius II there appeared exceptional legends with number titles IMP XXXXII COS XVII and IMP XXXXIIII COS XVIII), the chief indication of date had become the vota periods, of which the precise meaning must be sought in each case.
The first consulship of Diocletian mentioned on coins is III, the first held during Maximian's reign and coinciding with the first consulship of Maximian in a.d. 287 (Pink, p. 2).
Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopädie, s. v. Consul, col. 1133–34.
For medallions see Pink, p. 24; Gnecchi, I Medaglioni Romani I (Milano, 1912), pl. 4.
Pink, pp. 42, 48.
BMCEmp. IV, pp. 108, nos. 743–743A; 111, no. 771; 112, no. 772; 115, no. 795; 116, nos. 796–8; 118, nos. 812–13; 119, nos. 814–15; 122, no. 835; 124, no. 843; 126, nos. 863–4; cf. seated type, on curule chair, ibid., pp. 313–14, nos. 1887–9.
Nerva to Trajan, BMCEmp. Ill, p. 38, no. 53; Trajan to Hadrian, BMCEmp. III, pp. 236–7, nos. 1–4; 397–8, nos. 1101, 1106.
BMCEmp. III, p. 269, no. 242 (receiving globe from Jupiter), cf. no. 1600, n.; p. 417, nos. 1203–5 and p. 421, no. 1236 (receiving sceptre from eagle)
BMCEmp. III, p. 21, *; p. 38, *.
BMCEmp. IV, p. 505, 792: pl. 69, 15 (Ꜹ), M. Aurel.; p. 741, 281: pl. 98, 4, Commodus. On the sceptre in general, Alföldi, "Insignien und Tracht der römischen Kaiser," RM 50 (1935), pp. 110–117, and on the short sceptre in particular, pp. 113–14.
For Antoninus Pius, see n. 19 above; for Commodus, BMCEmp. IV, p. 724, 192: pl. 95, 20.
BMCEmp. V, pp. 274–5, nos. 586–7: "roll" for "sceptre" cf. the illus., pl. 42, 14 (image); p. 355, 868: pl. 52, 11 (Æ).
CIL VI, 32329–31; P. Romanelli, "Nuovi Frammenti degli Atti dei ludi secolari di Settimio Severo (a. 204)," Not. degli Scavi (1931), pp. 341–45; Ch. Huelson, "Neue Fragmente der Acta Ludorum Saecularium von 204 nach. Chr.," Rhein. Mus. 81 (1932),. pp. 388–94; E. Diehl, "Zu den neuen Acta Ludorum Saecularium Septimiorum des Jahres 204 n. Chr.," SPAW 1932, pp. 7650.; A. A. Boyce, "Processions in the Acta Ludorum Saecularium," TAPA 72 (1941), text on pp. 37, 40, 43.
Alföldi op. cit., p. 113, seems to assume that the scipio eburneus is properly only the eagle-tipped sceptre; of this there seems no certainty.
Cf. with our types and Geta's role in the Ludi Saeculares his quadriga type of the same date (PONTIF COS II) where he is shown with eagle-tipped sceptre, BMCEmp. V, p. 275, 591 (Ꜹ): pl. 42, 15.
Geta's brother Caracalla had already been so exalted as to be identified with Sol (BMCEmp. V, p. 199, 244).
Ruggiero, Dizionario Epigrafico II, 2, p. 946, attested most dependably by the consular lists. Inscriptions do not appear to provide the real evidence for the beginning of Geta's second consulship in 208.
BMCEmp. V, pp. 273–75; 353–55.
BMCEmp. V, pp. 185, 301, 581, introd., clvii, clxi. At the beginning of Severus' reign a female Bonus Eventus was taken over from the coinage of Pescennius Niger but was later replaced by the type familiar from earlier coins. A representation of Bonus Eventus is described in Pliny, NH 34, 77: "et simulacrum Boni Eventus, dextra pateram, sinistra spicam et papavera tenens." A temple and a new porticus Bonus Eventus are mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus (29, 6, 19). For early tradition see Varro, RR 1, 6; Cato, Agr. and BMC Rep. I, pp. cxci and 289.


Beardless or Slightly Bearded, Draped Bust

A. Geta togate, sacrificing over flaming tripod, holding patera and sceptre.

Plate VII, 55, 56, 58, 62

B. Geta togate, holding globe and sceptre (not roll as indicated in BMCEmp. V, p. 274, 586; cf. pl. 42, 14 and no. 587, p. 275 of cat.).

Plate VII, 57, 60-61

C. Geta in quadriga, holding eagle-tipped sceptre. Ꜹ. BMCEmp. V., p. 275, no. 591: "bearded"—but cf. pl. 42, 15; if 14 is not bearded, 15 is not bearded.

Plate VIII, 73, 74

D. Geta seated, with Septimius Severus and Caracalla. Ꜹ. Poor photo in ANS photofile seems to show no beard. Evidence here insufficient. See Cohen and BMC note on Montague piece which fits our description.

E. Bonus Eventus, sacrificing.

Plate VII, 59

Fully Bearded, with Draped Bust

F. Bonus Eventus, sacrificing. Not in BMC, but in Cohen.

Plate VIII, 63-65

Fully Bearded, with Bare Neck

G Bonus Eventus, sacrificing. Continued into PONTIF TR P COS II (BMCEmp. V, pl. 53, 8).

Plate VIII, 66-68, 71


Plate VIII, 72

H. Geta on horseback, spearing fallen enemy. This type was continued under the rev. legends PONTIF TR P COS II (BMCEmp. V, pl. 53, 9) and TR P II COS II (BMCEmp. V, pl. 54, 5).

Plate VIII, 69, 70

I. Goddess with sceptre in r., holding up drapery in 1. over two children raising arms. Ꜹ. Not indicated as bearded in BMCEmp. V, p. 274, 585, but is clearly bearded in the illustration, pl. 42, 13 and in Naville Sale Cat. XVIII, lot 356.

A clear picture of this portrait development along with the evolution of reverse types can be obtained by studying Plates VII and VIII. Here the denarii of Geta have been arranged generally by obverse (portrait) type alone, passing from a beardless or almost beardless portrait to a fully bearded portrait. When this was done it was found that the two types showing Geta sacrificing and holding globe and sceptre fell into first place. The Bonus Eventus type took a transitional place, sharing all types of obverses but matching up chiefly with a bearded portrait. The horseman type was found to be contemporary with the fullbearded portraits of Geta on pieces of the Bonus Eventus type; and Bonus Eventus passed over into later issues bearing the date TR P II (a.d. 210; Plate VIII, 72).

Within the period PONTIF COS II, then, the obverse portrait is the deciding factor in classification, and Bonus Eventus the chief reverse type. And it seems clear from our list above, if evidence unknown to me does not render it invalid, that classes A—D were devoted to publicizing Geta at the beginning of his second consulship. Since the globe-and-sceptre figure ( Plate VII, 57, 60, 61), belongs to the early group, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that these coins were struck in honor of Geta's second consulship and that the types were therefore true consular types, i. e., festal, therefore different from the consular types of Antonius Pius, which ran through many years. The quadriga type struck in gold ( Plate VIII, 73, 74; BMC Emp. V, p. 275, 591: pl. 42, 15) and the earlier silver type (BMC Emp. V, p. 243, 443: pl. 38, 20, COS) add weight to this notion. These types must represent a processus consularis. 33

A number of years later, at the end of his sole reign (a.d. 217), Caracalla assumed globe and spear on the coinage, but as a result of victory, and in military dress. 34 Both civilian (globe and sceptre) and military (globe and spear) motifs were continued in the third century; similar to Caracalla's military type is a type which became a stock type for the Princeps Iuventutis. 35 The togate figure with globe and sceptre continued but as a seated type rather than as a standing one, a type which had also occurred under the Antonines, 36 and of which beautiful examples are to be seen on an aureus of Elagabalus ( Plate VII, 53), and an aureus of Postumus ( Plate VII, 54). Diocletian used the standing togate type with globe and sceptre and he used this type more often than the seated one. 37 Before Diocletian this seated togate type was accompanied by a legend including the usual offices (PM TR P IMP COS), a titular schema which was used with many other types. One of the striking characteristics of the type as used by Diocletian is that it was accompanied by a legend comprising as its only number title the consular number used once more after a period of neglect. 38 This consular number was followed by PP PROCOS (Pater Patriae, Proconsul), the latter title having occurred previously in inscriptions and regularly from Septimius Severus, but not on coins. 39 One can hardly escape the conclusion that Diocletian was emphasizing the consulship. The legend is confined to our type. It must therefore have significance in relation to the type, and the types themselves must be consular.

Only from sometime in Diocletian's sixth consulship (296–8) and Maximian's fourth (293–6) does the sceptre seem to be a firmly established element of these consular types. On the earlier consular types the emperor held either sceptre or ritual roll (see Table, p. 25), the latter usually being invisible or seen only as the end of the roll. By the end of the reign the mints that were striking the types, Antioch and Siscia, evidently produced the globe and sceptre types exclusively (i. e., the roll had been eliminated). The evidence for Antioch indicates that the sceptre was substituted for the roll there in Diocletian's sixth consulship and Maximian's fourth, therefore in the year 296, since that was the only year common to both consulships.

It is not to be assumed from what has been said above that the ritual roll disappeared from Roman ritual, for the development of Roman ritual is not under discussion here but rather representations of the consular type on coins. That representations may have been conditioned by particular moments of ritual seems possible, but the choice of the sceptre for the consular representation was more likely to have been determined by the tendency to regard the imperial consular procession as a kind of triumph and the tendency of the times toward more elaborate and monarchical court ceremony. In any case the representation of the togate and sceptred figure on consular coins seems to have come from early in the third century a.d.; through repetition it became conspicuous in the gold consular issues of Diocletian and Maximian. Later it passed through another phase under Constantine when the accompanying legend reached a stage of precision that left no doubt as to the full meaning the type was intended to convey.

Aurei and solidi of the standing consul type were struck after the retirement of Diocletian and Maximian. Photographs of a number of them can be seen on the plates of Maurice's Numismatique Constantinienne. 40 The notable thing about this later consular coinage is the omission of the consular number, a fact which Maurice notes repeatedly. Exceptionally, however, Constantius Chlorus' fifth, and Galerius' sixth, seventh, and eighth consulships have been reported on Antiochene consular gold, 41 and Maxentius indicates his third consulship (a.d. 310) on a bronze consular processional type, i. e., with the Emperor in quadriga (see below). In Constantine's fourth consulship (a.d. 315) the consular number returns to the gold consular coinage. It appears then and on later consular gold of Constantine and his sons bearing the same type but with different legends, e. g., FELIX PROCESSVS preceding the consular number. This legend proves to be most illuminating for the type. It appears to have been first used by Maxentius, perhaps in all metals, 42 and occurred subsequently on Constantinian solidi, e. g., FELIX PROCESSVS COS IIII AVG N. 43 This reverse legend leaves no doubt as to the nature of the togate type with which it is linked. Not only is the type consular; it is associated with the procession for entrance upon the consulship. When we find a similar legend on a standing consular type of Maxentius (FELIX PROCESS CONSVLAT AVG N, Rome a.d. 308) as well as on a bronze quadriga type with Victory flying toward the Emperor (FEL PROCESS CONS III AVG N, Rome a.d. 310), it is clear that we are dealing with a consular processus, not primarily with an imperial triumph. Until we see the FELIX PROCESSVS legend on gold of Maxentius, Constantine, and Crispus, with standing emperor type, our associating the processus consularis with the standing consular type is only an assumption based on the probabilities mentioned above (see p. 30), that is to say, the association of the togate figure bearing the globe and sceptre with a consular date when such dates had generally disappeared from the coinage; and the general restriction of the type to gold, which played a part in the largesses associated with the processus consularis. 44 The legend of the Constantinian solidi defines the type, and we can now safely, I believe, apply the legends on this consular gold to the similar gold pieces of Diocletian and Maximian, and to the types of Geta. All of the gold pieces may be considered to have been struck for the beginning of the year, 45 or for whatever time of the year a new consulship was entered upon by an Augustus or Caesar. (This had not been the case under Antoninus Pius; see p. 31 above). They were issued during the festival of which the chief manifestation was the triumphal procession of the ruler as consul. The coinage specifically struck for the imperial consul was a feature of the festival that no consul other than the Emperor or a Caesar was privileged to enjoy, though he performed the act of scattering largess. Perhaps we may say that the honor of the consular diptychs took the place of the honorific coinage for the ordinary consul. That there was no consulship like Caesar's was made clear at a later date by the restriction of the title to, and its annual assumption by, the Emperor alone from the time of Justinus II. 46

End Notes

Cf. Domitian's repeated use of the quadriga type COS XI, COS XIIII, COS XV, COS XVI: BMCEmp. II, pp. 316, 329, 335, 340; COS XVII: ANS.
BMCEmp. V, p. 466, no. 200 (Ꜹ): pl. 73, 6.
Cf. Alföldi, RM 50, pp. 116f., for comment on the Princeps Iuventutis and sceptre. Lack of mention of the third century is due to the fact that the princeps holds not sceptre but spear. Severus Alexander as Augustus has this Princeps Iuventutis type (RIC, pl. 4, 4; BMCEmp. VI, pl. 7, 178); Maximus as Caesar (RIC, pl. 10, 13); Gordian as Augustus, in a different position, (RIC, pl. 2 13f.); also Claudius (RIC, pl. 5, 78).
Later examples are many: Macrinus, BMCEmp. V, p. 502, nos. 47f., pl. 79, 12f.; p. 521, no. 125, pl. 83, 1; Elagabalus, ibid., p. 557, no. 181, pl. 88, 18; p. 606, nos. 427f., pl. 96, 9; Gordian, RIC IV, 3, p. 47, no. 294, pl. 4, 4; Philip, ibid., p. 68, 2a, 2b and pl. 5, 16; Valerian, RIC V, 1, p. 50, no. 151, cf. pl. 1, 3, p. 52, no. 189; Gallienus, pp. 79, no. 122; 84, no. 201; 88, no. 259; 92, no. 310; 118, no. 22; 171, no. 455.
See Pink's Catalogue.
See n. 14.
See G. Wilmanns, Exempla (Berlin, 1873), 940, n. 3; Sandys, Lat. Epigr., 2nd ed., pp. 231f.; M. Bernhart, Handbuch zur Münzkunde der römischen Kaiserzeit, p. 42.
1, pl. 6, no. 15; 3, pl. 7, no. 9: Maximinus Daza, from Nicomedia and Antioch; 1, pl. 23, no. 5; 3, pl. 7, no. 15: Constantine, from Trèves and Antioch; 2, pl. 13, no. 5; 3, pl. 8, no. 3: Licinius, from Thessalonica and Antioch. Illustrations can now be seen in the recent works of P. Bruun, Studies in Constantinian Chronology, NNM 146 (1961), pls. 3, 72; 5, 66 and 79, and M. R. Alföldi, Die Constantinische Goldprägung, Mainz (1963), pls. 1, 19 (cat. no. 82); 5, 76 and 77 (cat. no. 130); 7, 110 (cat. no. 131); 9, 141 (cat. no. 128).
Constantius Chlorus, CONSVL V, Paris (Missong, ZfN 7 (1880), p. 270; Galerius, CONSVL VI, London (Missong, p. 271); CONSVL VII, Vienna, Cohen, 84 (s. v. Maximian Herc.); Maurice, 3, p. 152; M. R. Alföldi, op. cit., 86; Cohen, 12 (no source given; s. v. Maximinus Daza), where "Maximums" must be an error for Maximianus; M. R. Alföldi, 87; CONSVL VIII: cf. Cohen, 85 (s. v. Maximian Here.); Maurice 3, p. 177; M. R. Alföldi, 88. So far as I can make out, however, the evidence cited for Galerius has not been fully tested to make certain that it refers to Galerius, not Maximian. Missong argued effectively for attributing to Galerius the BM CONSVL VI coin with crescent and star, and an examination of casts inclines me to believe him correct. Detailed argument, supported by photographs, is required to demonstrate Antiochene gold with CONSVL VII and VIII for Galerius, both of which Missong gave exclusively to Maximian. Maurice's attributions on pp. 152 and 177 are somewhat hesitant.
Ꜹ: Maurice, 1, p. 184; Cohen, 64 (Banduri); M. R. Alföldi, 134; image: Cohen, 65 (Vienna); Maurice, 1, p. 184; Æ: quadriga type: Maurice, 1, pp. 188f., pl. 17, 9; Cohen, 59, 60, 62.
Constantine, Trèves: COS IIII, Bruun, op. cit., p. 108, 71; Aquileia: COS IIIII, Trau Coll. 3875 = Bruun, p. 108, 73 = M. R. Alföldi, op. cit., 131 (printed IIII; cf. her pl. 7, 110) but not "Cohen 154;" COS VI, Bruun, p. 108, 76; Cohen, 154; Maurice, 1, p. 328; M. R. Alföldi, 133; Ticinum: COS IIII, Naville Sale Cat. Ill (Evans), lot 185 = Bruun, p. 108, 72; Cohen, 152, 153; Maurice, 2, p. 253 ("Tarragone"); M. R. Alföldi, 129, 130; COS VI (needs authentication for Ticinum?), Bruun p. 108, 75; Cohen, 154; Maurice, 2, p. 273 ("Tarragone"); M. R. Alföldi, 133 (all based on Caylus); Sirmium: COS VI, Bruun, p. 108, 74 and 77; Cohen, 155; Maurice, 2, p. 395; M .R. Alföldi, 132; Antioch: COS VI, Bruun, p. 108, 78 and 79. Crispus, Sirmium: COS III, Cohen 72, Maurice, 2, p. 405; for the sons of Constantine, see Bruun's list on p. 107 and his discussion of their Antiochene gold on p. 63.
P. Grierson, "Solidi of Phocas and Heraclius," NC 1959, p. 134, doubts that consular gold was actually thrown during the consular procession. But Claudian, De Sext. Cons. Hon., 605, seems to imply that such scatterings had taken place on ocassion; cf. Cod.lust. 12, 3, 2 and 3, and esp. Nov. 105, 2, 1: "aurum spargere," "aurum enim spargere revolvatur imperio." For representations of the largess, whether literal or symbolic, see Maurice 1, pl. 15, 4; 2, pl. 16, 15; Pearce, RIC 9, pl. 11, 1; J. M. C. Toynbee, Roman Medallions, NS 5, pl. 2, 5–17, pl. 3, 1–3, pl. 20, 7. Cf. Belisarius' consular procession, Procop., Hist, of the Wars, 4, 9, 15–16. Representation of Liberalitas, as an institution seems to have disappeared from coins under Diocletian (cf., however, the goddess on coins of Constantine, Cohen, 316; Pauly-Wissowa, RE, s. v. Liber alitas, col. 19; list on pp. 87–88; Liberality scene on coin of Carinus, Cohen, 48.
Pink, p. 2, evidently thinks the aurei were not occasional but, as in the second century, could have been struck within the current consular date until the next consulship.
Pauly-Wissowa, RE, s. v. consul, col. 1137.

End Notes

E.g., in R. Cagnat, Cours d'Épigraphie Latine (4th ed., Paris, 1914), p.233; Sir John Sandys, Latin Epigraphy (2nd ed., revised by S. G. Campbell, Cambridge, 1927), p. 253; M. Bernhart, Handbuch zur Münzkunde der römischen Kaiserzeit (Halle, 1926), p. 307; A. Degrassi, I Fasti Consolari dell'Impero Romano (Rome, 1952), p. 77. On the other hand, such a work as E. Ruggiero, Dizionario Epigrafico, 2, (Spoleto, 1912), p. 1886 (G. Costa), refers to numismatic evidence for COS III to COS VIII; cf. p. 1169.
Chron. Min. I, pp. 60, 66, 231; III, pp. 379, 396; presumably the listings in I, pp. 291, 447, and 710 are wrong as is II, p. 150: "Diocletianus VIII et Maximianus VIII."
Codex Justinianus, 3, 28, 26; 9, 1, 18; cf. Mommsen, Gesammelte Schriften 2, p. 90, n. on 210 (11), 1.
See also E. Pasoli, Acta Fratrum Arvalium Quae Post Annum MDCCCLXXIV Reperta Sunt (Bologna, 1950), p. 49, frag. 102.
B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri 12 (London, 1916), 1551.
See Grenfell and Hunt, New Classical Fragments (Oxford, 1897), 72 (as corrected by Mommsen, "Consularia," Hermes 32, p. 544) and 75, lines 18–19 and p. 118: "as a matter of fact the last year in which these emperors were consuls was 304, for the ninth and eighth times respectively, and they abdicated in May 305, for which year the consuls were Constantius and Galerius. The explanation is that the news of the change had not yet reached the Oasis, and so the consuls of 304 were supposed to be still in office." See also The Oxyrhynchus Papyri 14 (1920), 1645 and 18 (1941), 2187 including p. 141, n. 1, documents which will have to be discounted as incorrect or uncertain evidence.
K. Pink, "Die Goldprägung des Diocletianus und seiner Mitregenten," Num. Zeit. 64 (N. F. 24), 1931, p. 56. It appears that in the list of abbreviations for collections (p. 4, n. 3) no provision was made for the Vienna Cabinet, while W was said to indicate the Weifert Collection. In the catalogue which follows W must stand for "Vienna," and Wf, not indicated in the list of abbreviations, for Weifert. The companion piece to the ANS aureus (ex Trau) is indicated in the catalogue as W; cf. "Tafelverzeichnis," p. 59, no. 68 ("Wien") and pl. III, 68.
Hess Sale Cats., May 22, 1935, no. 3335 and April 28, 1936, 2703; Münzhandlung Basel Cat. no. 10, March 15, 1938, 751.
The only consular date on the antoniniani is COS IIII, on coins attributed to Lugdunum (RIC 4, 5). It therefore appears that there is a special reason for recording the consular dates on gold; see the discussion on pp. 29ff.
Op. cit., pp. 42; 48–51; 56.
See also A. Missong's lists, "Die Vorläufer der Werthzahl OB auf römischen Goldmünzen," ZfN 7 (1880), pp. 268–71.


The Imperial Vows

"The normal form of Roman prayer was the 'votum' or vow—the petition for a specific favour, accompanied by the promise to pay a specific due, if and when the favour was granted. 'Do ut des' was the thought underlying. There were two critical moments in each vow—the moment when the vow was formulated ('susceptum', 'nuncupatum') and the moment when it was paid 'solutum'). The only sacrifice accompanying the 'nuncupatio' would be the offering of incense or libation at an altar; at the 'solutio' the promised victim would be brought to the altar for sacrifice. On both occasions the proper formula would be recited to the accompaniment, it might be, of lyre or pipe."Apart from the endless mass of private vows there were very many vows of an official character ('vota publica')—vows for the Emperor, for his salvation or safe return, vows for marriages, births, or adoptions in the imperial house, vows for the State—the senate and people of Rome. Each year had its special day reserved for the annual vows (3 January—'votis'). At the end of every ten years (later, every five) of a reign the vows taken at accession would be paid and carried forward again with special emphasis and display."—H. Mattingly, in "The Imperial 'Vota'," Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume XXXVI, p. 155.

Theodosius I reigned from January 19, 379 to January 17, 395. His sons Arcadius and Honorius, born in 377 and 384, were associated with their father's rule as Augusti from January 19, 383 and January 23, 393 respectively. After the death of Theodosius In 395 Arcadius reigned in the East with his capital at Constantinople and Honorius reigned in the West with his capital first at Mediolanum, and, from 402, at Ravenna. Rome remained in the background, the mother capital whose Senate never forgot her glorious past.

Honorius had no heirs. Theodosius II, son of Arcadius, was born in April, 401 and became Augustus when less than a year old, on January 10, 402. Evidence for the public celebration of the vows of these emperors, observed with particular festivity at ten-year intervals, shows that the years of their reigns must indeed be counted from the time when they became Augusti and not from the year of the death of their fathers.

Galla Placidia was the young half-sister of Arcadius and Honorius. Her son Valentinian III, born from her marriage (a.d. 417) to Honorius' general Constantius III, who became an Augustus with Honorius in the West for something short of a year (a.d. 421), succeeded to the throne in the West after the short reign of Johannes (Tyrannus). Johannes had stepped into the breach caused by the death of Honorius in 423 after Galla Placidia and her son had taken refuge at the court of Constantinople following a disagreement with her brother. Valentinian was brought back to Italy by his mother and was crowned in Rome toward the end of 425 (October 23). He was assassinated in March, 455, after a long reign at the end of which he celebrated the completion of this thirty-year vows.

The division of the Empire by Theodosius between his two sons resulted alternately in periods of harmony and discord between East and West from a.d. 395, the relation being conditioned until 408 largely by the belief of Theodosius' able general Stilicho—a man panegyrized by the poet Claudian—that the regency of the whole Empire, not just of the West under Honorius, had been entrusted to him; and, simultaneously, by the efforts of the ministers of Arcadius in the East to rule independently of Stilicho's claims. Stilicho worked for the principle of a unified Empire until the years just before his downfall in 408 when he was preparing for a showdown with the East by force of arms. After Stilicho's downfall other factors worked for harmony or discord, e. g., the dispatch of military aid from the East (now under Theodosius II) during the invasion of Italy by Alaric in 410; the refusal of the eastern court to recognize Constantius III as Augustus in 421. Solidi struck for vota celebrations reflect these tendencies. Indeed vota solidi of the period inspired lines of Claudian (In Rufinum, II, 341f.) describing the climax of the conflict between Stilicho and Rufinus.

The concept of harmony, Concordia, inherited from earlier reigns, appeared occasionally on coins of the time of the successors of Theodosius I, under whom it has been particularly associated with the vota solidi. For unity of the Empire was not abandoned as a concept under the divided rule, though it appears that the older Emperor regarded himself the senior in authority if the question came to an issue. The traditional decennalian, vicennalian, and tricennalian vows of the emperors are represented on a number of solidi of this period—the end of the fourth century and the first half of the fifth. It was in this half-century that the vota coinage had its last great floruit and came to an end. The vota solidi disappeared and the vota numbers on other denominations were often carelessly or ambiguously rendered. The cross had already supplanted vota numbers on some small denominations. There exists a great deal of detailed comment on the political and religious history of the period in the writings of historians, church fathers, imperial poets, and panegyrists. Apart from its legal and general historical importance, the Theodosian Code serves as a useful reference for the whereabouts of the emperors at given times, for the gold-producing section of the mint often followed the Court. Little mention will be made in this study of the sources or general histories which tell how conflict between pagan and Christian, persecution of pagan and heretic, maneuvering and invasions of barbarian, and constant drama between West and East mark the times. 1 The purpose of this paper is to present a new vota solidus of Theodosius II and to attempt to date it and then to study and date other vota solidi before the death of Valentinian III. The paper closes with an account of the decline and end of the vota coinage.


The coin under discussion is a solidus which was purchased by the American Numismatic Society late in 1952. It is my purpose to call attention to and study in its peculiar historical background this rare and practically unknown vota solidus. The coin belongs to the early part of the fifth century a.d., when Honorius was emperor in the West and the regents of his young nephew Theodosius II controlled the East.

The description is as follows:

Obv.: DNTHEODO SIVSPFAVG. Helmeted diademed head of Theodosius facing three-quarters r., spear in r. hand, shield, showing horseman spearing fallen foe, on 1. arm. Reel border.

Rev. CONCORDI AAVGG∈ 2 On shield, X/VOT/XX Constantinopolis seated facing, helmeted head r., on throne, spear resting on throne and held in her r. hand, shield resting on throne and supported at top by her 1. hand. To 1. of r. foot, prow. In 1. field, star.

21 mm. 4.47 gm. Plate IX, 75

At the time of the acquisition of the coin, I had not seen any record of a coin of this sort. No solidus recording X VOT XX was known to Mattingly 3 when he compiled his comprehensive list of vota coins nor to A. Voirol 4 in his study of the Theodosian coinage. But recently I have seen in the British Museum a cast of a similar piece at Budapest, officina S, and another solidus, officina Γ, appears in Lafaurie's publication of the Chécy hoard in J. Gricourt, et al, Trésors monétaries et plaques—boucles de la Gaule romaine, Gallia, Suppl. 12, Paris, 1958, pl. II, 13. And in a Cahn Sale Catalogue (80, Feb. 27, 1933, lot 998) there appears a similar Constantinopolitan gold piece of Honorius ( Plate IX, 76) except that the vota recorded are XX/VOT/XXX and the officina letter is I, while the officina letter on the solidus of Theodosius Is ∈. The solidus of the Cahn sale is now in the British Museum; another specimen, also officina I, is reported at Vienna. The two types of solidi (X VOT XX and XX VOT XXX) seem to be companion pieces struck at Constantinople early in the reign of Theodosius for himself on the one hand and his uncle and western colleague on the other. 5 They must, quite apart from any meaning the vota inscriptions have for us, have been struck after the accession of Theodosius II in 402 (January 10) and before the death of Honorius in 423 (August 15). 6 Since Theodosius died in a.d. 450, this limits the date of issue to the first twenty-one years of a forty-eight year reign; and since there seems to be no piece of Arcadius to go along with the pair, we may venture to suppose that these solidi are to be dated after 408 when Arcadius died. If therefore X (VOT X) is anticipatory of Theodosius' decennalia, it is so only by a few years, since January 10, 411—January 9, 412 would be the decennalian year. But these coins of Theodosius and Honorius may well represent issues for the actual decennalian celebration of Theodosius and the vicennalia of Honorius.

That these similar Constantinopolitan issues of Theodosius and Honorius were a pair struck for synchronous celebrations of the decennalia of the former and the vicennalia of the latter seems certain from the statement of Marcellinus Comes (Mommsen, Chron. Min. II, p. 70) that in the year a.d. 411 Theodosius celebrated his decennalia 7 and Honorius his vicennalia ( Theodosius junior decennalia, Honorius Romae vicennalia dedit). 8 Honorius' vicennalia were actually due only in 412. 9 But events had occurred which may have made it seem expedient to advance the festival a year and to celebrate it in Rome. In 410 Honorius' position in Ravenna had been saved with the help of a small but effective contingent of troops sent from the East against Attalus who had been wearing the purple at Rome under the patronage of Alaric. After the fall of Attalus came the famous Sack of Rome. The early celebration of the vota in the unfortunate city in the presence of the legitimate Emperor may then have been a matter of morale. This was a period of cordiality between the Emperors of East and West, and this cordiality found expression in simultaneous, if not joint, vota celebrations. The legend CONCORDIA AVGG on these solidi, then, describes a reality given concrete expression in simultaneous fulfillment of the vows. From this point of view it is significant that the next vota advertised by Theodosius on solidi (VOT XV MVL XX) were recorded on a shield held not by a single city-goddess, but, by both Constantinopolis and Roma as under Constantius II, when the type was new, and as more recently, under Valentinian I and Valens. 10

Our solidus of Theodosius II adds to the list of types given by Voirol, and a place must be found for it in his chronological scheme. Voirol's first four types are as follows:

  • CONCORDIA AVGG. Seated Constantinopolis holding Victory on globe.
  • GLORIA REI PVBLICAE. Seated Constantinopolis and Roma. VOT XV MVL XX
  • VICTORIA AVGGG. Standing emperor (western issue).
  • VOT XX MVLT XXX. Victory with long cross.
It must be stated here that Voirol's numbers in his chronological scheme have reference only to the coins of Theodosius, while our system of numbering includes similar coins of Honorius. The relative position of our solidus in Voirol's scheme is easy to determine. Voirol's no. 1 is a type familiar from the reign of Theodosius I, except that on the coins of the latter no Victory stood on the globe in the hand of the goddess. Voirol's no. 2 is a vota coin of the type mentioned above ( Plate IX, 77), and several factors make it certain that the ANS piece falls just before it. For one thing Voirol's no. 2 (77) bears the vota inscription VOT XV MVL XX. No one can deny that the mention of VOT XV, whether it means vows anticipated (suscepta) or completed (soluta), must follow the mention of X in comparing the two inscriptions X VOT XX and VOT XV MVL XX, since we are dealing with one denomination, the solidus, and one mint, Constantinople. The full purport of this remark—a remark seemingly unnecessary—is not easily understood until one has grasped the complications of the vota records, for instance the fact that different systems (quinquennial and decennial) of recording the vota occurred on different metals or denominations and at different mints, and that sometimes the vows named on a coin are those of the colleague of the emperor whose name appears on the obverse, not his own. 11 A further comparison, of general type, between Voirol's no. 2 and our solidus (i.e., between 77 and 75) shows that this new solidus must come first, for its type continues a type familiar from the reigns of Theodosius I and Arcadius, Constantinopolis with helmet and position of Roma; while Voirol's no. 2, Constantinopolis and Roma holding a shield between them, is clearly a revival of a type which had been in use from Constantius II to Valentinian I, 12 but was replaced under Theodosius I by the single figure of one of the goddesses, foot on or beside prow, therefore Constantinopolis, but facing r., as Roma had faced on the old two-goddess type, with shield bearing a vota inscription. This single figure is the type on our new solidus; Voirol no. 2 represents a revival of the old Roma-Constantinopolis type, its obverse being distinguished by the young helmeted head of Theodosius II in profile. This development, the revival of the type with the two goddesses, is further evidence of cordiality between the young Theodosius and his uncle Honorius at the time solidi of this type were issued. It was evidently the last time the two goddesses appeared together on Constantinopolitan solidi (J. M. C. Toynbee, Stud. Pres. to D. M. Robinson II, St. Louis, 1953, pp. 269–70)

The typology, then, as well as the vota inscription and the lack of a similar piece of Arcadius, all combine to place our solidus of Theodosius II after Arcadius' death and before Voirol no. 2 (our no. 77) with VOT XV MVL XX. Voirol no. 1 (CONCORDIA AVGG with enthroned Constantinopolis holding Victory on globe) is a type continued from the reign of Theodosius' father Arcadius. It does not occur again in the coinage, for the Victory on the hand of Constantinopolis was soon to give way to the globus cruciger, and there seems to be no reason for considering it anything but the earliest coinage of Theodosius II. Voirol no. 2 (our 77) recorded later vows and revived the "two-goddesses" reverse type revealing a new cooperation between the East and the West which the joint vota coinage of our nos. 75 and 76 foreshadowed. Our new solidus lies between Voirol nos. 1 and 2 and is to be dated between 408, when Arcadius died, and 411, when Theodosius celebrated his decennalia, Honorius his vicennalia. Very probably the coins of this issue were struck in the course of the year 410, perhaps just before the festival of 411.

End Notes

For general and detailed background material the monumental work of A. H. M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire 284–602 (Oxford, 1964) is now available and E. Stein, Historie du Bas-Empire I, ed. J. R. Palanque (1959) with a second set of notes, is likewise indispensable. The expected publication of new volumes of RIC will present a comprehensive survey of the numismatic material of the 4th and 5th centuries.
Close examination of the letters reveals AVGG∈, not AVGGG. Cf. J. W. E. Pearce, "The Vota Legends on the Roman Coinage," NC 1937, P. 115, where he discovered that he could consider as normal a "monstrosity" by reading AVGGG∈ rather than AVGGGG. CONOB in the exergue and the style indicate Constantinople as the mint.
H. Mattingly, "The Imperial 'Vota'," Proceedings of the British Academy, 36, pp. 155–95; 37, PP. 219–68.
A. Voirol, "Münzdokumente der Galla Placidia und ihres Sohnes Valentinian und Versuch einer Chronologie der Münzprägung unter Theodosius II (408–450)," Verhandlungen der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Basel (1945), Bd. LVI, 2, pp. 431–45
Miss Toynbee has by a similar method identified a gold medallion as belonging to Theodosius I in "Two New Gold Medallions of the Later Roman Empire," NC 1940, pp. 9–23.
Evidence for dates can in general be found in the following entries in Pauly-Wissowa, RE 8 (1913), s.v. Honorius, cols. 2277–2291; 202 (1950), s.v. Placidia, cols. 1910–31; 7A, 2 (1948), s.v. Valentinianus III, cols. 2232–59. See also O. Seeck's Regesten der Kaiser und Päpste für die Jahre 311 bis 476 n. Chr. (Stuttgart, 1919). Of primary sources for dates see particulary the chronographers whose lists are published in Mommsen's Chronica Minora of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica.
In January of 411 Theodosius entered upon the tenth year of his reign. O. Seeck, Regesten, pp. 320f., assumes that the celebrations took place on the accession days, January 23 for Honorius, January 10 for Theodosius.
So far as I know, there are no special festal issues with these vows comparable to the "consular" issues discussed below.These could have existed for Theodosius, who entered upon a new consulship (IIII) in 411, but not for Honorius. We have in Marcellinus' statement evidence that Honorius was in Rome for the celebration. The evidence is of particular value since the year 411 is an especially obscure one. We know that Galla Placidia was in Rome at the time of its sack by Alaric in 410. The Emperor's presence and festival in 411 appear to indicate that it was at this time more important to celebrate the fulfillment of the vows in the old Capital on the Tiber than at Ravenna, where, eleven years later, Honorius' tricennalia were celebrated (see pp. 53–58). Since at the later festival a point was made of holding a triumph over Maximus at the same time, the Roman vicennalia may have been conceived as a thanksgiving that the Goths had not remained in possession of the city after their ravages of the previous year.
The date of his accession was January 23, 393 (Pauly-Wissowa, RE, s.v. Honorius., col. 2278.
Year 1 Jan. 23, 393 — Jan. 22, 394
11 403 404
21 413 414
20 412 413
Valentinian I: Pearce, RIC IX, p. 276 and pl. 13, 3; Valens: Voirol, op. cit., abb 11; GLORIA ROMANORVM, VOT X MVL XX: an enlarged photograph of this type can be seen in S. L. Cesano, "Un nuovo medaglione aureo di Teodosio I e la figure di Constantinopolis," Studi di Numismatica I (1940), p. 76, fig. f. On the solidi of Constantius II, Constantinopolis wore a turreted crown, but on the solidi of Valens she had, like Roma, assumed the helmet.
If I am not mistaken this potential flexibility of the vota-usages on coins has not been sufficiently considered by those who have worked on the coins of the Theodosian period following the death of Theodosius I. The late J. W. E. Pearce called our attention to this aspect of the earlier Theodosian vota coinage on enough occasions to make us suspicious of literal interpretation of vota inscription in relation to imperial portrait. In addition to his remarks on pp. xxxvii-xxxviii and passim in the introductory discussions to the several mints of vol. 9 of The Roman Imperial Coinage (1951) ed. Mattingly, Sutherland and Carson; see "The Vota-Legends of the Roman Coinage," NC, 1937, pp. 112–23, "The Gold Coinage of the Reign of Theodosius I, "NC, 1938, especially pp. 222–225, 238–40; Addendum, NC, 1939, pp. 167f., and the portion of E. A. Sydenham's Presidential Address before the Royal Numismatic Society summarizing Pearce's work, "Proceedings," NC, 1940, pp. 19f. When in the middle of the third century a short reign like Aemilian's produced sestertii advertising the decennalia ( Plate XIV, 135) and in the fourth century Jovian ( Plate XIV, 136) and Eugenius struck coins with VOT V MVLT X, it is clear that all figures involved refer to vows undertaken (suscepta) and not fulfilled (soluta). A conspicuous example of vota numbers (VOTIS V MVLTIS X) that were wholly anticipatory within the reign of Honorius appears on silver of Constantius III, whose entire reign lies within the year a.d. 421.
The only examples of the type on the plates of Pearce, RIC IX, Valentinian ITheodosius I, are pls. VIII, 11 (Arcadius) and XIII, 3, VOT X MVL XX, of Valentinian I.

Other Vota Solidi of the Period

The vota numbers on coins do not always refer to the vows of the emperor whose name and "portrait" appear on the obverse. 13 The first vota solidi of Arcadius record not his own vows but the vows of his father Theodosius I, VOT V MVL X, whereas we find Arcadius' own first vows recorded with the same formula as on the coins of his father.

The following table based on the studies of J. W. E. Pearce 14 will suggest the difficulty faced by anyone picking up a single solidus of the sort under discussion. Reverse legends with AVGGGG (= 4 Augusti) belong to the brief period before Arcadius' accession (January, 383) when Gratian was still alive. AVGGG (= 3 Augusti) indicates the period after Gratian's death (August, 383). 15

Solidi with VOT V MVL X of Theodosius I

Rev. Detail: AVGGGG Throne with lions' heads. Struck separately by Theodosius I and Arcadius. Pearce, NC 1939, pp. 203f. and pl. XI, 9–12: "Group IV B," Jan. 19, 383-Jan. 18, 384 (p. 206).

Rev. Detail: AVGGG Throne with lions' heads. Struck by Theodosius I. Pearce, pp. 205f. and pl. XII, 4–5: "Group V B," Jan. 19, 383-Jan. 18, 384 (p. 206).

End Notes

See n. 11. According to Pearce, vota numbers were manipulated by Theodosius I so that Valentinian II, actually senior Augustus, should not appear to advantage over Theodosius or his sons (see e. g., Pearce, RIC 9, pp. xxxviii, 73, 267, 297).
NC, 1939, pp. 203–10; cf. his section on the mint at Constantinople in RIC 9, pp. 205, 224f., 231 and on Mediolanum, pp. 73 and 77; but cf. Ulrich Bansa, Moneta Mediol., pp. 61–72 and Lafaurie, "Trésor de Chécy," Gallia, Suppl. 12, pp. 285–6.
The evidence for the change from AVGGGG to AVGGG can be found in Pearce, RIC 9, where the coinage of this period is listed under the several mints.

Solidi with VOT V MVL X of Arcadius

Rev. Detail: AVGGG Plain throne. Struck separately by Arcadius and Theodosius I. Pearce, p. 208 and pl. XII, 8–10: "Group VI B," Jan. 19, 387-Jan. 18, 388 (pp. 209–10). Plate IX, 78-80.

Solidi with VOT X MVLT XV of Theodosius I

Rev. Detail: AVGGG Plain throne. Struck separately by Theodosius I and Arcadius. Pearce, p. 208 and pl. XII, 11–14: "Group VI C," Jan. 19, 388-. Plate IX, 81.

Pearce discussed these coins in Transactions of the International Numismatic Congress, London, 1936, pub. Lond., 1938, p. 238, and catalogued them in RIC IX, pp. 222–5, no. 47; P. 230, no. 68; p. 231, nos. 70 and 71. Nos. 78–81 (Plate IX) seem to fit into Pearce's classification, but with two reservations; no. 79 (VI B in Pearce) has a pearl diadem, whereas Pearce says that in this class Arcadius wears only a rosette diadem. This apparent divergence seems to me of no consequence because in all other classes listed above Pearce indicates that Arcadius wears either pearl or rosette diadem. No. 81 seems to show a throne with lions' heads, though the representation is crude.

Pearce regarded the vota solidi listed here as having been struck for the fulfillment of the various five-year regnal periods represented by the first of the two vota figures in each case: V (Theodosius I), then V (Arcadius), and finally X (Theodosius I) for the last group. This interpretation must be correct, since vota issues struck by Theodosius alongside issues of Arcadius similar in details of style as well as in respect to vota numbers could not have been struck before the accession of Arcadius in 383. Since Theodosius' accession year was 379, his first quinquennium year was identical with the accession year of Arcadius, a fact which is hardly due to coincidence. The two associated vota numbers—V and X or X and XV are not then anticipatory, as they had sometimes been in the third and fourth centuries, but only the second of the two is anticipatory. This follows tradition; the first figure represents vota soluta, the second, vota suscepta.

Arcadius' next vows on eastern solidi are XX/XXX, 16 merely the figures without the words VOT or MVLT. They are inscribed on a shield by a seated Victory encircled by a legend new to the Roman coinage: NOVA SPES REI PVBLICAE ( Plate IX, 82). 17 There is no reason why vows accompanied by such a legend should refer to anyone but Arcadius himself and his family, for this legend is clearly dynastic. The figure of Spes holding a flower and raising her skirt had since the reign of Claudius appeared on the coinage as a symbol of the fertility and the succession of the imperial family. Arcadius' vicennial year was 402/3 and in January 402 Arcadius proclaimed his son Theodosius (II) Augustus. Within a year's time Arcadius had had a son and had made him nominal co-emperor. It can hardly be doubted that the solidi bearing the legend NOVA SPES REI PVBLICAE were struck to celebrate jointly the vicennalian year of Arcadius and the proclamation of the child Theodosius as Augustus. 18

When we come to the vows on solidi of Honorius we find the Emperor's own vows, to be sure, but there is also a clear case where the vows of another occurred on solidi with Honorius' "portrait." In the West while Arcadius was still alive vota solidi were issued at Mediolanum for Honorius' decennalia (Ulrich-Bansa, Moneta Mediol., pp. 197, 396, pl. VIII, 80, a.d. 403), but with these we are not concerned here, since they seem not to involve an "East-West" problem. The later vows on solidi of Honorius are XX VOT XXX ( Plate IX, 76, see pp. 43–48); VOT XX MVLT XXX ( Plate IX, 83), both on Constantinopolitan issues; and VOT XXX MVLT XXXX ( Plate IX, 84, 85) appearing on Ravennate issues.

Vota Mint Rev. Type Obv. Type
Plate IX, 76 XX VOT XXX (of Honorius) Constantinople Constantinopolis seated on throne, helmeted head r., sceptre in r., in 1. shield resting on arm of throne and bearing vota inscr. At r. foot, prow. Facing bust of Honorius, helmeted head three-quarters r., spear in r., horseman shield in 1.
Plate IX, 83 VOT XX MVLT XXX (of Theod. II) Constantinople Victory three-quarters facing, head 1., holding long cross resting on ground in r. Similar.
Plate IX, 84 VOT XXX MVLT XXXX (of Honorius) Ravenna Two helmeted goddesses seated r. and 1. on cuirasses, holding between them a shield bearing vota inscr. Facing helmeted and diademed head of Honorius, short spear in upraised r., held in front, on 1. shield on which christogram.
Plate IX, 85 VOT XXX MVLT XXXX (of Honorius) Ravenna Honorius, clad in festal toga, seated facing, on curule chair, holding mappa and eagle-tipped sceptre. Diademed and bearded bust of Honorius clad as on rev. facing, mappa in upraised r., eagle-tipped sceptre in 1.

No. 76 was a companion piece to no. 75. (X VOT XX of Theodosius II) and was struck by Theodosius II for the celebration in the same year of his own decennalia and the vicennalia of Honorius, a.d. 411, according to Marcellinus Comes (Mommsen, Chron. Min. II, p. 70). No. 83, though having the same vota numbers as no. 76 (XX and XXX) cannot be of the same date, for no. 83 clearly belongs to the vota coinage connected with the vicennalia of Theodosius II (victory holding long cross, VOT XX MVLT XXX), the abundant long cross coinage struck over a period of time for Theodosius II, his sister Pulcheria, his wife Eudocia and his aunt Galla (Aelia) Placidia. The vota legend on the long cross coinage of this whole family can refer only to the eastern emperor Theodosius II, as de Salis had recognized in 1867. 19

The striking of no. 76 with the vows of Theodosius but in the name of Honorius represents a traditional courtesy gesture which the eastern court extended to the West. These complimentary coinages were often issued in small numbers; yet it is puzzling that but two specimens of the long cross / VOT XX MVLT XXX coinage issued for Honorius are known to me—from sales catalogues. 20 It may be that history has an explanation worth considering. The long cross coinage was first issued in the East at about the time when in the West, Honorius made his brother-in-law Constantius a co-ruler with the title Augustus (421). Constantius III, who had been married to Galla Placidia since 417, was not recognized as Augustus by the eastern court. Philostorgius (12, 12) tells us that Theodosius did not accept the images of Constantius sent to the eastern court and that Constantius made preparations for war. The immediate issue was closed by his death in the same year. It is therefore possible to suppose that differences between Honorius and Theodosius over the recognition of Constantius III may be reflected in the scarcity of long cross issues for Honorius. The long cross issues of Placidia, probably struck after her flight to Constantinople, appear to have been more numerous than those of Honorius. Whether or not this coinage reflects differences over dynastic affairs between East and West, one thing is certain; that the transplanting and development of the long cross coinage in the West, where the coinage modelled on Theodosius' type had a long history, was the result of Theodosius' support of Placidia and her son Valentinian. Valentinian's reign in the West came not through his uncle Honorius, from whom Placidia and her son fled nor through his father Constantius III, who died after a short reign in 421, but through the tardy support given Placidia by the court at Constantinople. The date of no. 85 21 should be certain because it combines vota numbers with festal types. The obverse and reverse types make it clear that the solidi represented here by no. 85 were issued for an occasion. On both sides the Emperor is represented as triumphator and/or consul. He wears the triumphal garb, he sits on the curule chair, and he holds the mappa in his upraised hand, ready to give the signal for the start of the games, and the eagle-tipped sceptre in his left. Except for the fact that it lacks a nimbus surrounding the Emperor's head, the representation is similar to that on solidi linked with the celebration of Honorius' fourth consulship in 398 (Ulrich Bansa, Moneta Mediol. pl. IX, 87; pp. 199, 201). The present occasion can be no other than the celebration of the vota mentioned in the reverse legend, VOT XXX (the word MVLT shows clearly that VOT XXXX are anticipated here). Honorius' thirty-year vows were celebrated in 422. 22 This then is the date of no. 85; just possibly the coins were struck at the end of 421 in anticipation of the festival.

More than vows were involved in this celebration—a new consulship and a triumph. Honorius entered upon his thirteenth consulship in 422. 23 And we are expressly told that he took the occassion of the tricennalian festival to celebrate victory over the defeated insurrectionist Maximus, who provided the sublimem spectaculorum pompam. 24 The coinage represented by no. 85 then celebrated a brilliant series of events at the beginning of a.d. 422. It bears the mint mark of the city where the events took place—Honorius' capital, Ravenna.

No. 84 also mentions tricennalian vows (VOT XXX MVLT XXXX) on the shield held by the two helmeted goddesses. Neither obverse nor reverse gives a hint of anything so specific as the special festal quality of no. 85; but the relative frequency of these pieces, 25 though they are not common, suggests that they were not a festal issue but a regular issue anticipatory of the tricennalia and struck continuously in a general period before, during and perhaps after the celebration of the tricennalia. One feature of the obverse type suggests that these coins were first issued somewhat earlier than the festal issues proper; the fact that Honorius is here shown without a beard, a feature which is clear on no. 85. The conspicuous beard appears so far as I know on only one issue of Honorius apart from no. 85—an issue which may have been Honorius' last ( Plate IX, 86; see pp. 58–59). For this reason no. 84 seems properly placed before no. 85.

The outstanding characteristics of no. 84 are the following:


1) Facing head of the helmeted Emperor; at this time this type had been characteristic only of the coinage issued in the eastern part of the Empire. 26

2) Short spear of the helmeted Emperor held in front; the only other example on solidi of the period known to me is no. 77, an issue of Theodosius II (helmeted Emperor in profile), about five years earlier than no. 84, and showing an awkward and incomplete attempt to represent the short spear. 27

3) XP in monogram on the Emperor's shield, replacing the usual horseman spearing foe. This may have been inspired by Victory inscribing XP on a shield on solidi of the Empresses, but more probably copied a rare tricennalian solidus of Constantius II with XP in monogram on the Emperor's shield (P. LeGentilhomme, Rev. Num., 1943, p. 80 and pl. I, 1). On Constantius' solidus the Emperor held the spear behind him, as usual.


4) Facing heads of both goddesses.

5) The goddesses seated on cuirasses, not thrones; on contemporary coins (semisses) Victories holding shields inscribed with vota numbers sat on cuirasses, as did Roma under the early Empire. 28

6) Both goddesses represented alike; both goddesses wear helmets, the headdress of Roma; although on Æ of Constantine, Constantinopolis as well as Roma had worn a helmet rather than the oriental crown of towers, under Constantius II, when Roma and Constantinopolis had appeared together on the Ꜹ coinage, Constantinopolis had worn the turreted crown of eastern city goddesses. 29 Valentinian and Valens had recently given the helmet to Constantinopolis as well as to Roma on an issue of vota solidi (see p. 45 and n. 10). Under Theodosius I, Constantinopolis (appearing alone) wore the helmet of Roma and therefore may be said to have superseded or displaced Roma. Of her attributes only the prow at her foot identifies her. Theodosius II, however, represented both goddesses with helmets on no. 77 30 On no. 84 the two goddesses are represented exactly alike; both wear helmets, and there is no prow beneath the foot of the goddess to our right. The goddess to the left must be Roma, in accordance with convention. The goddess to the right, her double in this case, can only be either Constantinopolis deprived of her identifying prow, or Ravenna (hardly Virtus, as Mattingly held, "The Imperial Vota," II, p. 263, n. 129), who, it so happens, might also have been invested with a prow, since the city harbored an important imperial naval base. The fact that the prow is absent suggests that the goddess is not Constantinopolis, since if Ravenna were intended and given a prow, she would certainly seem in accordance with tradition to be Constantinopolis!

If the goddess to our right is Constantinopolis, she represents, with Roma, the concept of a unified Empire. This reverse, linked to a conspicuously aggressive obverse, could signify Honorius' claim, as senior Augustus, to control over the succession, since his right to choose a second Augustus had been disputed not long before these coins were first struck (see p. 52). And while the militant obverse might be taken to symbolize the triumph over Maximus, Honorius' spear might also be poised against the Eastern court.

If the goddess to our right is Ravenna, on the other hand, she is a symbol of Ravenna's rise to a claim of equality with Rome as an imperial capital, and the type is an apt compliment to the city where the triple festival (consulship, tricennalia, triumph) was celebrated. The helmeted figures here should be compared with Ravennate medallions shown on plates G, a and H, e of Ulrich-Bansa's Moneta Mediolanensis.

My concern with this point represents important problems—the relation of West to East and of Ravenna to Rome, and while I incline to regard the second goddess as Constantinopolis in spite of difficulties, I should like to see the way opened to a more confident decision.

7) Palm branch between the goddesses, a minting symbol characteristic of the Valentinian period, when it was placed between the enthroned Emperors. 31

Although the details of the types of these coins derive from both remote and recent traditional features, the types taken as a whole represent a striking departure from earlier or contemporary issues. They are novel in form and spirit and are unlikely to have been designed haphazardly rather than with meaningful intent. The Christian and aggressive elements stand out as the most conspicuous features, as if the Emperor wished to be thought of with spear poised for action rather than at rest and to show the oncomer that his buckler bore the now well known Christian symbol of victory. Like the Emperor, the goddesses face the observer. The vota are proclaimed on their shield (to the display of which all their effort is directed), the pagan counterpart to the Christian shield on the obverse. These vows (Honorius' thirtieth) are known to have been fulfilled at a festival in a.d. 422. Since we have in no. 85 the actual festal issue, this issue (no. 84) doubtless represents a general issue which announced the imminence of the votive celebration. Our coins are then probably to be dated from the latter half of 421, the year when there were differences between eastern and western courts over the naming of Constantius III, husband of Galla Placidia, an Augustus (Philostorg. 12, 12). Unless the types of this coinage have a limited reference to Ravenna and celebration for victory in the West, they may manifest the claim of the western Emperor Honorius to seniority in the rule of the whole Empire (symbolized on the coins by the two capitals) and therefore in dynastic matters, under the strength of the Christian symbol of victory XP. This then is a coinage well suited to 421, when the court of Theodosius denied Honorius' choice of Constantius III as a new Augustus and the West insisted on Constantius' position. History shows that Theodosius did not deny Constantius' son, who was also Placidia's son, the succession in the West but sent Valentinian from the eastern court, whither he and his mother had fled from Honorius, back to Italy in order to wrest imperial control from Johannes "Tyrannus" after Honorius' death in 423. Times had changed and Valentinian was of the dynasty. But opposition to Constantius in 421 was clear, and it is indeed difficult not to connect the vota coinage represented by no. 84 with the era of bad feeling between East and West just before Honorius' tricennalia which took place with elaborate celebration and triumph at the beginning of 422. As has been noted, the bearded obverse of Honorius on no. 85 suggests that no. 84 was the earlier of the two vota issues. For another regular and common issue of Honorius, very different from his other solidi in respect to types and therefore perhaps the latest of his regular (i.e., not festal) issues, 32 also shows the Emperor wearing a beard ( Plate IX, 86). 33

The method of recording the vows of the consular solidi, VOT XXX MVLT XXXX around the rim, is unusual for a vota legend. This is the method used on the "long cross" coinage of Theodosius II ( Plate X, 87-98) which was initiated about this time or slightly before. Honorius' circular legend may therefore have imitated the circular vota legend on the early long cross issues of Theodosius. This Theodosian series which we call the "long cross" coinage is by far the most significant common series in the vota coinage of the period. It was in fact a vota issue which was not only festal but had the status of a regular series.

End Notes

VOT X MVLT XV were recorded on semisses (Ꜹ). VOT V MVL XV (Sabatier 14) in Mattingly's list (127 c) must be an error of Sabatier's for VOT X MVL XV. Also VOT X MVL? XX and VOT XV MVLT XX on two exceptional western solidi at Budapest (RIC 9, pp. 112–113; 132, no. 60) and BM (Pearce, The Roman Coinage from a.d. 364 to 423, p. 18, no. 19). J.P.C. Kent kindly informs me that apparently the engraver originally intended to write X and not XV on the latter.
Sabatier I, pl. III, 12; Tolstoi, pl. I, 28; Ratto, pl. II, 49, 50; Goodacre, p. 24, no. 17.
It is my conviction that study of large numbers of coins of this period (including Eudoxia's SALVS REI PVBLICAE solidi) will eventually indicate that the date of these coins is 402 or close to it. Analysis of the reverse legend NOVA SPES REI PVBLICAE suggests such a date now. In the legend, NOVA seems to eliminate any other date such as 397/8 suggested by Mattingly ("The Imperial 'Vota'," Pt. 2, p. 250), who assumed that the coins were struck immediately after Arcadius' third quinquennium (VOT XV) and thought the legend referred to Arcadius as successor to Theodosius I after the death of the latter in 395. The wedding of Arcadius and Eudoxia is close to this date; the birth of Theodosius II (April, 401) is close to our date, 402. In the light of the tradition linking dynasty or heir with Spes the idea of succession is certainly in NOVA SPES REI PVBLICAE. NOVA seems to me definitely to eliminate Arcadius, who at the time of Theodosius' death in 395 had been an Augustus for a dozen years, since 383.
"The Coins of the Two Eudoxias, Eudocia, Placidia, and Honoria, and of Theodosius II, Marcian, and Leo I, Struck in Italy," NC, 1867, pp. 203–15.
Santamaria, Jan. 24, 1938, lot 1058 and Münzen und Medaillen. Jan. 1960, lot 46.
The consular type, no. 85 (Cohen 69) is relatively rarer than no. 84. Photographs in Hirsch Sale Cat. 29 (1910), lot 1542; Naville Sale Cat. 3 (1922), lot 245 (same die if not same coin); R. Delbrueck, Spätantike Kaiserporträts, pl. 19, 8 (obv. only).
The type with the two goddesses, no. 84 (Plate IX); Hirsch Sale Cat. 29 (1910), lot 1543; Naville Sale Cat. 3 (1922), lot 246 = Ratto Sale Cat., June 7, 1926, lot 2714; Ratto Sale Cat., Feb. 8, 1928, lot 4974; Trau Sale Cat. 4645; Jameson Cat. 2, 396. Pearce, The Roman Coinage from a.d. 364 to 423, p. 25, no. 5, mistakenly reported a variant (Paris) with a reverse legend VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM. M. Jean Lafaurie kindly informs me that only Pearce 7, no reverse legend, exists in the Cabinet des Médailles.
Chron. Min. I, p. 656, 89 (yr. 422): Maximus tyrannus de regno deicitur ac Ravennam perductus sublimen spectaculorum pompam tricennalibus Honori praebuit; cf. Hydatius, Chron. Min. II, p. 20, 80: Honorius actis tricennalibus suis Ravennae obiit. Marcellinus Comes, Chron. Min. II, p. 75 (yr. 422): in tricennalia Honorii, Maximus tyrannus et Iovinus ferro vincti de Hispanias adducti atque interfecti sunt.
On conjunction of the triumph with vicennalia, etc., see A. Alföldi, Röm. Mitt. 49 (1934), PP. 98f., n.1
See the consular lists in Mommsen's Chron. Min. There is nothing peculiar about a coin which celebrates a new consulship and at the same time the discharging of the decennial vows or their multiples. A connection of the consulship, though perhaps not exactly coincident in date, with the decennalia of Severus Alexander (seated on curule chair, VOT X on shield) can be seen on a medallion illustrated by Miss Toynbee (Roman Medaillons, pl. 44, 5; see also Gnecchi, Medaglioni Romani I, pl. I, 9) and in the consular figures of Constantius Chlorus and Severus II (Maurice, Num. Const. 2, pl. 9, 7; Gnecchi, Medaglioni Romani I, pl. 5, 9), below which XX appears within a wreath.
Precedent for the type may be seen in the VOTA PVBLICA solidi of the 24me of Valentinian I.
See n. 22.
See n. 21.
For the general style of this obv. when used in the West cf. a coin of Constantius II struck at Aquileia, O. Ulrich Bansa, Moneta Mediolanensis (352–498), Venice, 1949, pl. A, c. The facing head for East and profile head for West was a distinction which came into being under Arcadius and Honorius. Constantius II, who introduced the facing helmeted head type with VOT XXX MVLT XXXX on the rev., used this obv. in both East and West.
This motif, the Emperor holding the short spear in front, can be traced back (not always with helmeted head).at least to local Æ of the third century a.d. (e. g., from the Weber Coll.: Caracalla, Ancyra, 7770; Gordian III, Perga and Side, 7350, Tarsus, 7667, 7671; Philip I, Cotiaeum, 7076; Valerian, Mytilene, 5697; Gallienus, Antioch ad Menandrum, 6370). It evidently appeared a little later on imperial coins of the same century (e. g., from RIC: Gallienus, V, 1, pl. 12, 171 [medallion]; Aurelian, V, 1, pl. 7, 102, pl. 8, 126; Probus, V, 2, pl. 1, 10, pl. 2, 17; nearer our period, Valens, IX, pl. 1, 9; Arcadius, IX, pl. 14, 15). Note also solidi of Valentinian I and Gratian, Ulrich Bansa, Moneta Mediol., pl. B, and p. 42, where the type is described as "clearly alluding to events of a military nature." There comes to mind also a later but famous example of the type—the lost medallion of Justinian (Gnecchi, Med. Rom. I, pl. 20, 4; BMC I, frontispiece; Rev. Num. 1899, pl. I, 2); NS 5, Pl. 49, 3.
Roma had since the time of Nero continued to sit on a cuirass, and under Valentinian I (Pearce, RIC IX, pl. 3, 1–3, image) she was so represented. The cuirass may be but a further indication of "westernization" of both goddesses, i. e., their assimilation to Roma by means of the cuirass as well as of the helmet. The assimilation of the type of Constantinopolis to the type of Roma may be Honorius' way of emphasizing the Roman origin of the eastern capital and the primacy of Rome. The palm on these coins is likewise western, for the palm branch had appeared on earlier western coinages (see n. 31).
The conventional eastern city-goddess on the ancient coinage was a turreted, a more literal, representation of a city. Roma, though helmeted in her own right, as we know from the tradition of the republican coinage, had long since taken her form on the coinage from the Athena on the tetradrachms of Alexander's diadochos, Lysimachus (cf. C. Seltman, A Book of Greek Coins, London, 1952, p. 26). Perhaps the most famous seated Roma type on coins appears on the beautiful bronzes of Nero.
On the relationship of Constantinopolis to Roma from the time of Valentinian I see J. M. C. Toynbee, "Roma and Constantinopolis in Late-Antique Art from 312 to 365," J RS 37 (1947). PP. 143, 144; and "...from 365 to Justin II," Stud. Pres. to D. M. Robinson II, St. Louis, 1953, pp. 261–77. See also the detailed analysis by S. L. Cesano, Studi di Numismatica I, pp. 72–77.
On this coin (no. 77) Emperor and both goddesses are helmeted and in profile, contrary to both conventional eastern practice which represented the Emperor facing and to the unconventional (for the West) facing representation of the Emperor on our solidi of Honorius. L. Laffranchi, "Appunti di Critica Numismatica. I. La data finale della personificazione di Costantinopoli ed i medaglioni aurei del tempo Teodosiano," Numismatica, 1941, p. 33, mentions our solidi of Honorius briefly. Mattingly's suggestion (pp. 263f., n. 129) that the second goddess was probably Virtus and the Roman numerals he would require on the coins for Honorius' tricennalia seem to me quite erroneous.
For the evidence consult Pearce, op. cit., p. 325, s. v. "Palm-Branch*." On the general use of the symbol in this period as an official mark of guarantee, see Sir Arthur Evans, NC, 1915, p. 493.
The substitution of a mythical animal for a conquered foe, and the new form of the cross, together with the fact that Valentinian III developed still another type from it (see pp. 66–67; 78–80;) 86 would seem to place this solidus at the end of the reign (see n. 33).
This coin is not a vota piece but is important for the dating of the vota issues under discussion. Its date would seem, as Voirol implied (pp. 434, 441, 443), to be 421 because AVGGG on the reverse suggests a period of three Augusti, i. e., Theodosius II in the East, Honorius and Constantius III in the West. The helmet worn by Honorius might also suggest this year when the West was said to be ready for war to assert the imperial status of Constantius, were it not for the fact that the helmet on the obverse was conventional in the East and perhaps on this coin merely represented a familiar motif, possibly in imitation of the eastern coins. Honorius, furthermore, carries no weapon here as on no. 84 where an active warrior is suggested. AVGGG, however, must be accounted for, if possible, and it is true that for the latter part of Honorius' reign GGG fits only 421 if the formula has literal meaning. But has it literal meaning? That is, does it signify a period when three Augusti reigned? It is noteworthy that all VICTORIA AVGGG solidi of Honorius and all such solidi after Honorius in the West and also in the East carry on the reverse legend with AVGGG for no apparent reason. The use of VICTORIA AVGGG then became fixed in the later period of Honorius and Theodosius and lost its literal significance whereby the number of G's indicated the number of reigning Augusti. Attempts to read into the imperial formula AVGGG the women of the imperial family seem to me inevitably to fail. Since this note was written a detailed discussion of AVGGG has appeared in the publication of the Chécy hoard (see p. 43 above), pp. 285–90. Lafaurie has concluded that AVGGG has literal meaning up to the time of Johannes (423). Some would apparently date the coins with helmeted and bearded profile of Honorius early in the fifth century. Matching solidi struck for Theodosius II, Lafaurie, pl. II, 3; Hess Sale Cat. 24, Apr. 16, 1964, 382 are involved in the question of dating. In spite of the unreliability of portraiture as a criterion, especially where different mints are involved, it seems difficult to place Hess 380 (= Plate IX, 77) later than Hess 382 (both, Theodosius II).
From what has been said here it would seem that since the helmeted profile type of Honorius, through its reverse type which was new and inspired the reverse type of Valentinian III, was Honorius' latest issue; the date may well be later than 421. Otherwise there would be no solidi to place after the vota pieces of 421/22 and it seems unlikely that no solidi were issued later in 422 and in 423, for Honorius died only in August, 423.

The 'Long Cross' Solidi

Solidi on which there appears a Victory holding a long cross on the ground, the whole being encircled by the legend VOT XX MVLT XXX, form an issue which inaugurated a new type in the East that spread to the West on the one hand and on the other continued to be used in eastern reigns succeeding that of Theodosius II, when the legend VICTORIA AVGGG replaced the original vota legend. The long cross on the solidi has been identified with a cross Theodosius presented to Jerusalem in the twentieth year of his reign, i.e., in the vicennalian year which the coins celebrated. 34 One would like to know the exact date of issue for the similar types with the obverses of Theodosius II, his sister Pulcheria, his wife Eudocia, his uncle Honorius, and his aunt Galla ( Aelia on Constantinopolitan issues) Placidia. For these coins may not have been issued simultaneously. 35 The date of the vicennalia of Theodosius II (the only date omitted from Marcellinus Comes' entries of vota anniversaries, see below, p. 71) should be a.d. 421 and the most likely date for the first long cross coinage that year or the end of 420. 36 But a recently published solidus with the long cross reverse and a consular type associated with Theodosius' tenth consulship (a.d. 422) has been cited as the initiation issue for this coinage (R. A. G. Carson, "Roman Acquisitions," NC, 1959, pp. 15f., pl. III, 17 and similarly in BM Quarterly, 1960, pp. 23f., pl. IV, 18; Plate XII, 113), the beginning of which, moreover, is specifically connected by a fifth century writer, 37 the author of the Liber de Promissionibus et Praedictionibus, 3, 34 (Migne, Patrolog. Lat., 51, col. 832) with a victory of "Arcadius" over the Persians in a war fought for the sake of persecuted Christians: sane nostris temporibus apud Persas persecutionem factam novimus, imperante Arcadio religioso et Christiano principe; qui ne traderet ad se confugientes Armenios, bellum cum Persis confecit. Eo signo, antequam potitus victoria, iam coeuntibus in praelium mitibus, aeriae cruces in vestibus paruere. Unde etiam victor auream monetam eodem cum signo crucis fieri praecepit, quae in usu totius orbis et maxime Asiae hodieque persistit.

Since Arcadius fought no such war and struck no such coinage, his name obviously appears here in error for "Theodosius," who brought such a war to a successful close in 422 (cf. NC, 1960, pp. 129f. and Bull, de la Soc. franç, de Num. 15 [1960], p. 421). In honor of the victory the Emperor initiated the coinage mentioned in the above-cited passage and according to the same passage the coinage continued in use over a large portion of the Empire. This description fits what we know of the surviving long cross solidi. If the initiation of the long cross coinage is to be dated to 422 in accordance with this passage, we must suppose that the outbreak of the Persian War in 421—Theodosius' vicennalian year—delayed the initiation of a vicennalian coinage, perhaps the vicennalian celebration, though this should have taken place earlier in 421 before the outbreak of the war. It is not impossible that the author of the Liber de Promissionibus attributed to the Persian victory the occasion for a coin type already in use as a propaganda piece for some months before the beginning of hostilities. 38

The photofile at the American Numismatic Society tends to show that the volume of the issue was the greatest for Pulcheria and least for Honorius. The list drawn from this material, which of course represents only a sampling offered in the main sale catalogues, shows the following order of frequency: Pulcheria, Theodosius II, Eudocia, Galla (Aelia) Placidia, Honorius. This may represent an unfair sampling of specimens, as further studies of larger numbers of coins may reveal. But there would be nothing strange in statistics which showed greater output of solidi for the eastern rulers, particularly for Pulcheria and Theodosius, and practically nothing in the name of Honorius (cf. Ulrich-Bansa, Moneta Mediol., p. 239, n. 48). For Pulcheria had long been Augusta at the time of Theodosius' vicennalia, from July 4, 414, 39 and only he and she could properly from the titular point of view, i.e., as Augusti, and as initiators of the series, begin the series in 420 or 421 or even 422. Eudocia became Augusta at the beginning of 423, 40 and so presumably her coinage began at that time or later. Galla Placidia could hardly share the coinage before she reached Constantinople in 423, after having fled Italy with her son Valentinian. Her Constantinopolitan issues, which are relatively rare, probably stopped once she had returned to the West and began striking the long cross type there. 41 As for Honorius, his death in August 423, if nothing else, would have cut off the Constantinopolitan issues in his name. But it is more likely that the gesture of Constantinople in making him a participant in the issue was not continued, or was limited to a token issue, because of hostility resulting from the disagreement of East and West over the naming of Constantius III as Augustus in 421. Both the presence and absence of coins of Honorius in the issue are important in the dating of the long cross coinage.

The course of the early long cross coinage of Placidia in Italy, the style of which is conspicuously different from that of the eastern solidi, was conditioned by the Empress' journey down the peninsula on her return from the East with her son Valentinian III to reclaim the western throne for the Theodosians. Long cross solidi were struck in her name at Aquileia, Ravenna and Rome, the early issues without a doubt in that order. 42 For since the Theodosians returned to Ravenna and Rome from the North, 43 the existence of at least one common obverse die for reverse types of Aquileia (AQ) and Rome (RM), 44 taken together with the relative scarcity of Aquileian and Roman solidi in relation to the numerous pieces struck at Ravenna (RV), tells of the transfer of the northernmost mint, once military necessity no longer required a mint in that region, to Rome. 45 The common die ( Plate X, 95, 96) suggests the transfer of the mint paraphernalia from Aquileia (AQ) to Rome (RM). The predominance of the Ravennate solidi (RV) shows the stability of that mint as a seat of the court, a stability which was to continue. 46 The end of the western long cross issues bearing the vota legend can be determined from the long cross solidi of Honoria, daughter of Galla Placidia, which began conventionally with the reverse legend VOT XX MVLT XXX 47 but which changed to the legend BONO REI PVBLICAE, ( Plate XI 99) the latter being by far the more common. 48 As de Salis points out, Honoria's coins must fall between the date of the accession of her brother Valentinian In 425 and her exile in 434. 49 Since there would seem to be little reason for the extension of the VOT XX MVLT XXX issues of Theodosius II in the East beyond 425, and since Honoria's coinage with the record of these vota in the West is so slight, the substitution of the legend BONO REI PVBLICAE, used by Placidia (de Salis, p. 214; Cohen 1, and later by Licinia Eudoxia; Laffranchi, Rassegna Numismatica 28, 1931, pp. 253–4) as well as Honoria ( Plate XI, 99), can safely be placed within the quinquennium 425–430, probably in the earlier part of the period.

The long cross solidi which came into being under Theodosius II and were struck with a variety of imperial portraits, then, were spread over a number of years in time, within the period VOT XX MVLT XXX. De Salis gave their period, that is the period of the Constantinopolitan issues, as 420–425. His dating, appearing in an article written shortly after our Civil War, seems to me more flexible and more understanding than the precise dating recently proposed, 50 The dating proposed by de Salis was due at least in part to the fact that he was primarily interested in the Italian coinage modelled on the eastern originals. He was able to draw his conclusions from the long cross coinage of the whole Empire. The Italian coinage which gave his article its title drew its origin numismatically from the mint of Constantinople but historically from the return of Galla Placidia with her young son, soon to be Valentinian III, from the eastern court to Italy. If the existence of the Italian coinage of Galla Placidia did not in itself suggest the spread of the long cross issues over a period of time, the fact that a long cross solidus with VOT XX MVLT XXX was struck for her daughter Honoria would be certain evidence of a spread in time.

Although Theodosius' successor Marcian issued long cross solidi in the name of Valentinian ( Plate XI, 101), Valentinian III did not himself employ the long cross type as we know it from the coinage struck under Theodosius II in the East and Galla Placidia in the West. He seems rather to have modified a long cross version (with P on top of cross) introduced by Honorius. For Valentinian's common, regular solidus is certainly a development from the issue of Honorius where the labarum is replaced by long cross with P, the captive by a beast (see pp. 78–80; 86 and Plates XIV, 139, Honorius; XIV, 142, XV, 143–145, Valentinian), though Valentinian removed the P from the cross, and the immediate model was probably an accession solidus of similar type showing Valentinian with Theodosius II (Ulrich-Bansa, Moneta Mediol. p. 229 and pl. image, g). From Valentinian's first successor, Petronius Maximus, to Severus III (Libius Severus) this form persisted ( Plate XV, 146-150), except for the type of Avitus, who returned to Emperor standing on barbarian while holding a labarum (Rome) or cross (Arles). Then came eastern domination of the type, for Anthemius (a.d. 467–472) shared his reverse with the eastern Emperor Leo I, holding the long cross in partnership with him, while Euphemia, wife of Anthemius and daughter of the late eastern Emperor Marcian, who had continued the Theodosian long cross coinage in the East ( Plates X, 93; XI, 100, 102), returned to the long cross coinage, perhaps with the precedent of Placidia in mind, but using her father's legend as Placidia had used her nephew's. The next Emperor, Anicius Olybrius, whose reign lasted only several months and whose coinage is of extreme rarity, struck an original type, a cross encircled by the legend SALVS MVNDI (Cohen, 1 and 3; Ulrich-Bansa, pl. N, a; Carson, Coins of the World, pl. 25, 388). After a brief return to the old type of Valentinian III under Glycerius, whose Emperor on the reverse of his coins seems, however, to have stood on nothing but a kind of rectangular framework (but cf. Lafaurie, 'Trésor Chécy," p. 282), Julius Nepos and Romulus Augustus ( Plate XV, 151, 152) again struck the long cross type of Theodosius and Placidia, as it was struck by Marcian with the legend VICTORIA AVGGG, bringing the western Empire to its traditional end with a type that had come into being at Constantinople, the New Rome. Thereafter Italy's barbarian rulers continued to strike it—in the name of the eastern Emperor.

From this brief survey of the last imperial solidi before the "fall" of the West it can be seen that the production of long cross coinage at imperial mints was not a continuous process from its inception to its end. For in the West, having served its purpose of heralding the return of the Theodosian dynasty to Rome, the long cross-Victory coinage gave way to a new type close to western tradition from early in the reign of Valentinian III (Emperor standing on monster and holding a different kind of long cross, based on the western labarum tradition and the X-P cross of Honorius but lacking the crowning P). Only after several reigns and forty years was the long cross coinage reintroduced in the West by western rulers appointed from the East: Anthemius and especially his Empress Euphemia, daughter of Marcian, the restitutor of the long cross coinage in the East. In the West the long cross coinage was briefly in abeyance again under two reigns (Olybrius and Glycerius) until returned to use by the last two western emperors. In the East itself the long cross coinage was not in continuous use to its ultimate end under Zeno. For in the very reign of its inauguration (Theodosius II) it was dropped for at least twenty years to the end of the reign (from sometime between the years a.d. 423 and 430) and reintroduced only under Marcian and Pulcheria (450). In every case where the long cross coinage appeared on western imperial solidi, eastern influence was responsible, revealing the dependence, before it actually succumbed, of the western throne on its eastern rival. The nature of the West's decline is therefore reflected in this coinage.

Indication of the exact periods of the production of "imitations" of the long cross coinage by barbarian kings is beyond the matter and competence of this paper. A comprehensive survey of this coinage, "Le monnayage et la circulation monétaire dans les royaumes barbares en Occident (Ve-VIIIe siècle)," was published by P. LeGentilhomme in RN 1943–45. Involved in this subject is the separation, where possible, of imperial from "barbaric" coinage. For until the national coinages of the "barbaric" kingdoms assumed a character of their own, solidi (and even trientes or reduced solidi, see Plate XI, 110) with the long cross as the reverse type were struck in the West by these peoples ( Plate XI, 103-109). Thus there was a numismatic bond still joining an Empire already split into East and West, which was at the same time a bond between the various geographical entities into which the West was falling as it broke up into "nations."

In the East Theodosius' long cross type had been revived under Marcian ( Plates X, 93; XI, 100102) but with a legend new to the type: VICTORIA AVGGG. This legend, unlike the vota legend used by Theodosius with his long cross type, transcended a particular period and was timeless, as the vota legend was not, and could therefore endure from one reign to another as it now did. An interesting consequence of the change is that we have types of Pulcheria with both VOT XX MVLT XXX and VICTORIA AVGGG, the former on solidi struck under Theodosius ( Plate X, 91, 92), the latter on solidi struck under Marcian ( Plate X, 93). Continuing without interruption in the East, the type was ultimately transformed from Victory holding cross to Angel with cross. 51

When the total area of dissemination of the long cross coinage, in the West as well as in the East, is taken into account, the significance of the return trip of Galla Placidia to the West will be seen as of great interest numismatically as well as historically. For, of such vitality was the original long cross type which Galla Placidia brought to the West from Constantinople, that when the Victory was transformed into the facing Angel by the Byzantine Emperors beginning with Justin I (see n. 51), some contemporary and later issues in the West retained the original form of the type. It is true that the type disappeared from western imperial coinage until, after some forty years, a Roman empress revived it on the current eastern model. If Galla Placidia did nothing more, however, she set a precedent in bringing the long cross and making it familiar to the West. And just as her building in Italy brought physical adornment and the influence of Byzantine art to the Christian West, so the coin-type Placidia brought to the West spread the Byzantine Christian symbolism through the coinage, no slight medium of propaganda to circulate among the new streams of humanity engulfing the ancient Rome. If the cross on the Theodosian solidi was indeed the cross presented to Jerusalem by the Emperor (through Pulcheria) in the twentieth year of his reign, as a combination of literary and numismatic evidence would seem to indicate (see p. 60 and n. 34), and if Eudocia adorned Jerusalem, as she did, with monuments of Christianity, the Eastern court had no mean ambassadress to the West in Galla Placidia, who carried the long cross coinage from Constantinople to Italy and thus caused the long cross type to be spread in times and places not anticipated by her and still to be identified with certainty by us (for examples of the later long cross solidi in the West see Plates XI and XV). The introduction of the long cross type to the West was a symbol of that domination of the West by the East which the glory of the old Rome could not now prevent.

End Notes

A. Frolow, "Numismatique Byzantine et Archéologie des Lieux Saints au Sujet d'une Monnaie de l'Impératrice Eudocie (Ve siècle)," Institut Français d'Études Byzantines. Mémorial Louis Petit, (Bucharest, 1948), pp. 81ff. Frolow sketched the subsequent history of the type in the East. For comment on Frolow's identification of Theodosius' gift with the cross on the coins see A. Blanchet, RN, 1949, p. 155; James Breckenridge, The Numismatic Iconography of Justinian II, NNM 144 (1959), p. 34, n. 28; J. P. C. Kent, "'Auream Monetam ... Cum Signo Crucis'," NC, 1960, pp. 131f.
Kent, op. cit., p. 130, confirms that they were not.
It is in any case impossible to date the long cross coinage "quite precisely to the year 423 a.d." (Breckenridge, Iconography, p. 34). Several reasons are against such a date for the beginning or duration (i. e., the limit) of the long cross coinage, particularly the fact that 423 is too late for the vicennalian celebration, unless it can be proved to have been postponed for a considerable period; and the coinage need not have been struck from its inception for all the imperial persons whose portraits appeared on the obverses in the course of its career, which de Salis dated 420–425 ("The Coins of the Two Eudoxias, Eudocia, Placidia, and Honoria, and of Theodosius II, Marcian, and Leo I, Struck in Italy," NC, 1867, p. 211). The surviving volume of this coinage, moreover, and the fact that it was copied briefly for Honoria in the West, point to its having been struck over a number of years in the vicennalian period. See also Kent, loc. cit.
Identified as "Quotvultdeus" writing at Carthage, 450–453. J. Heurgon, announcement in Bull, de la Soc. franç, de Num. 15 (1960), p. 421, of a new edition in preparation of the Liber de Promissionibus et Praedictionibus Dei, by M. René Braun.
M. Braun is said to refer the story of the new gold coin to the reign of Theodosius. M. Heurgon, however, seems to identify the solidus not with the long cross type but with the older type showing the emperor placing his foot upon a prisoner and holding a vexillum or cross. While this Ms. was in press I learned through the courtesy of M. Heurgon that R. Braun's work on Quotvultdeus has appeared in two editions, the first in the Corpus Christianorum, ser. Lat., 60, Opera Quotvultdeo Tributa, 1961; this I have not seen. But the second, Quotvultdeus, Livre des Promesses et des Prédictions de Dieu, Sources Chrétiennes, vols. 101, 102, Paris, 1964, has become available to me. Braun has established Liber Promissionum et Praedictorum Dei as the title used by Quotvultdeus (I, p. 15) and dates the work within the period 445—451 a.d. (p. 18). His revised text and translation of the passage cited above (p. 61) read as follows (II, pp. 558–60): Sane nostris temporibus apud Persas persecutionem factam novimus imperante Arcadio religioso et Christiano principe. Qui ne trader et ad se confugientes Armenios, bellum cum Persis confecit, eo signo ante potitus victoriam quo euntibus ad proelium militibus aereae cruces in vestibus paruere. Unde etiam victor auream monetam cum eodem signo crucis fieri praecepit quae in usu totius orbis et maxime Asiae hodieque persista. Trans.: "Assurément, pour notre époch, nous avons connaissance d'une persécution qui a eu lieu chez les Perses, sous le gouvernement d'Arcadius, prince dévot et chrétien. Celui-ci, se refusant à livrer les Arméniens qui cherchaient refuge après de lui, fit la guerre aux Perses et une signe (miraculeux) lui assura d'avance la victoire: au moment où ses soldats allaient au combat, des croix d'airain apparurent sur les vêtements. Aussi après sa victoire ordanna-t-il de frapper une monnaie d'or portant ce même signe de la croix: cette monnaie reste encore en usage de nos jours dans le monde entier et en Asie en particulier." Braun discusses the difficulties of the passage and gives the reasons for his choice of readings. Besides his text, see Introd. pp. 69f.; 79–80. He refers among other articles (p. 70, n. 1) to Kent's "Auream Monetam, etc." (NC 1960), but on p. 559, n. 7, says the coin mentioned in the passage has not certainly been identified. Since Braun holds that "Arcadius" is a mistake for "Theodosius," this is something of a surprise, for no other coinage of the fifth century will fit the final words of the passage so perfectly as do the long cross issues.
I cannot subscribe to Mattingly's suggestion ("The Imperial 'Vota'," Pt. 2, p. 267) that VOT XX MVLT XXX on the long cross coinage are vows proper to Pulcheria, however great the volume of her long cross coinage.
Eudocia became Augusta January 2, 423 (SHB, Chron. Pasch. I, p. 580; Migne, Patrolog. Graec., 92, col. 798.
By failing to take into account the probability that the long cross solidi of Pulcheria, Theodosius, Eudocia, Honorius and Galla Placidia struck at Constantinople might have taken their beginning from different years, Voirol (op. cit., p. 440, n. 1) found himself forced to suppose that the coins provide evidence that Galla Placidia had the title Augusta as early as 420 instead of from about February 8, 421, when her husband Constantius became co-ruler with Honorius. The bestowal of the title on Placidia by the two emperors is attested by the contemporary historian Olympiodorus (Müller, Frag. Hist Graec. IV, p. 65, frag. 34). The same writer tells us (p. 68, frag. 46) that Placidia assumed the title anew (ἐπαναλαμβάνει ... τò τῆς Aủγοστης ... ἀξίωμα) on her departure from Constantinople after the death of Honorius to recover western rule for her son Valentinian from Johannes.
See Plate X, 95-98. The specimen from the mint of Rome (no. 96) is placed next to the coin from Aquileia (no. 95) in order to show the common obverse die.
The cities where the western Theodosians stopped on the return route were Thessalonica, Salonae, Aquileia, Ravenna, Rome. The usurper Johannes was brought from Ravenna to Aquileia for execution, which took place in May or June of 425. The imperial party was still in Aquileia on August 6th. Valentinian was crowned at Rome October 23rd. See Pauly-Wissowa, RE 202, s. v. Placidia, cols. 1921–23; 7 A, s.v. Valentinianus III, cols. 2233–34, and V. A. Sirago, Galla Placidia e la trasformazione politica dell' Occidente, Louvain, 1961; cf. L. Ruggini, "Fonti, problemi e studi suir età di Galla Placidia," Athenaeum 40 (1962), pp. 373–91, an analytical bibliography including numismatic works.
Hirsch Sale Cat. 31 (1912), lot 2007 = Hirsch Sale Cat. 18 (1907), lot 1762, Aquileia, same obverse die as Hirsch Sale Cat. 29 (1910), lot 1544, Rome. Also noted by Ulrich-Bansa, Moneta Mediol., p. 230 and J. P. C. Kent, "Gold Coinage of the Later Roman Empire," Essays in Roman Coinage Presented to Harold Mattingly, p. 200, n. 5. See also the account of the Chécy Hoard by Lafaurie (J. Gricourt et al, Trésors monétaires et plaques—boucles de la Gaule romaine, Paris, 1958, p. 293). The interpretation of the die identity here, based on the photographs in the Hirsch catalogues, appears to be wrong (see n. 42), and the existence of a "cassure" in the obverse die under discussion doubtful.
Cf. Ulrich-Bansa, Moneta Mediol., p. 230 and F. W. de Salis, op. cit., p. 10: "The mint of Aquileia was certainly suppressed after the downfall of John and the recovery of Ravenna, as there are no coins struck there by Valentinian III and his successors." This sentence is indeed a reminder that in Valentinian's reign this once-great Roman town was destroyed by Attila, so that but a meager modern street, the cathedral and campanile, and a tremendous epigraphical "graveyard" mark its site. The memory of its floruit in antiquity has been preserved in modern times not only through these stones but through the periodical, Aquileia Nostra, Bollettino dell'Associazione nazionale per Aquileia, which first appeared in 1930.
One gets a similar picture from the coins of Valentinian III except that his northernmost mint was Mediolanum, not Aquileia. Mediolanum seems, however, to have issued coinage only late in the reign. Ravenna was the first mint from which Valentinian's most common solidi were issued, with a type fundamentally western, though modified (see pp. 66–67; 78–80; 86). The same type was issued at Mediolanum and Rome, in lesser quantity. But it was from Rome that Valentinian's vota solidi were issued, and these pieces show the influence of the western court very clearly. They would seem to indicate, too, that Valentinian wished to honor the old Capital above Ravenna on the special occasion of the imperial vows. Cf. n. 7, on Honorius' vicennalia in Rome.
De Salis, p. 211 and pl. VIII, 12 (cf. Cohen, 4).
Specimens can be seen in the following catalogues: Rollin and Feuardent Sale Cat. May 27, 1889, lot 622; Strozzi (Rome, 1907), lot 2004; Jameson II, 409; Naville Sale Cat. 3 (1922), lot 256; Ratto Sale Cat. (Feb. 8, 1928), lot 4988, from same dies as Santamaria Sale Cat. (Jan. 24, 1938), lot 1083.
De Salis, p. 211; cf. p. 214.
Voirol, a.d. 420 (see above n. 41) and Breckenridge, a.d. 423 (see above, n. 36).
A. M. Friend in A. A. Vasiliev, Justin the First (Cambridge, Mass., 1950), pp. 421f.; cf. Voirol, op. cit., p. 434, who dates the angel from the first long cross coinage (a.d. 420 for him); I have not seen his "Die Wandlung der griechischen Siegesgöttin zum christlichen Engel nach antiken Münzbildern," Jahresber. der Gesellsch. pro Vindonissa, 1944. P. LeGentilhomme, op. cit. (p. 25 of extr. from RN 1943) expressed the same view, and it has appeared in NNM 149, p. 63; cf. Cabrol, Diet, d'arch. chrét., I, 2, col. 2104. The tale of Socrates, Hist. Eccles. 7, 18, that divine messengers announced the coming Theodosian victory to some travelers may lend support to the theory.

The End of the Vota Coinage

The next vota solidi of Theodosius II carry the legend VOT XXX MVLT XXXX and show a further development in the use of the cross on the coinage. The reverse type has an enthroned Constantinopolis who no longer holds a victory but a globus cruciger ( Plate XII, 111Theodosius II; 112—Valentinian III). 52 Bearing the same vota numbers but not necessarily of identical date is a very rare consular type of Theodosius II, the reverse of which Theodosius shares with young Valentinian III ( Plate XII, 114).

111. Obv.: Usual facing helmeted bust of Emperor, short spear in r. and held behind shoulder, shield on 1. DNTHEODO SIVSPFAVG

Rev.: Constantinopolis helmeted, enthroned 1., 1. foot on prow, globus cruciger in r., long spear in 1. Shield rests against throne. Around rim, VOT XXX MVLT XXXX and officina letter. In ex., CONOB Officina letters of specimens at ANS, A, I, S (Newell); 1 (Gautier).

Plate XII, 111; struck for Valentinian III, Plate XII, 112.

114. Obv.: Bust of bearded Emperor 1., diademed and in consular robe, mappa in r., long cross as sceptre in 1. Around rim, DNTHEODO SIVSPFAVG

Rev.: Theodosius and Valentinian III seated facing, each holding mappa in r., long cross in 1. Above their heads, which are nimbate, star. Around rim, VOT XXX MVLT XXXX In ex., CONOB

Plate XII, 114 (from cast in the British Museum). See also Numismatica VII, 1942, p. 42.

We may observe at once that these solidi advertising VOT XXX MVLT XXXX of Theodosius II can be compared to similar vota solidi of Honorius ( Plate IX, 84, 85) because in each case we have 1) a city goddess- (or goddesses-) reverse and 2) a consular reverse, 1 being common and 2 being rare. It seems an obvious inference that the solidi with the city goddess/goddesses were issued over a period of time, in the beginning at any rate, in anticipation of the actual fulfillment of the vows, and that the rarer, clearly consular pieces were issued for the actual occasion of the fulfillment of the vows in conjunction with entrance by the Emperor on a new consulship. 53

A list of the dates of vow-fulfillment of Theodosius as taken from the chronographer Marcellinus Comes (Chron. Min. II, pp. 68–81) provides important non-numismatic evidence that caution is called for in any attempt to date coins from the vota numbers on them. According to the dates given by Marcellinus, Theodosius celebrated the vota in the following years:

quinquennalia a.d. 406
decennalia a.d. 411
quindecennalia a.d. 415 a year early
vicennalia not given due in a.d. 421
tricennalia a.d. 430 a year early
XXXX a.d. 439 two years early
xxxxv a.d. 444 two years early

If this list is accurate it is clear that the Emperor exercised considerable freedom in choosing the year of celebration, for the intervals between the various five-year vows are either four or five years, between the ten-year vows, nine or ten years, and the festal years are earlier in most cases than one would expect. The vota coinage obviously was not issued in accordance with a rigid and regular plan.

The vota solidi of Theodosius described immediately above record VOT XXX MVLT XXXX, and are, as we have said, of two types; a common one with Constantinopolis seated and holding a globe surmounted by a long cross ( Plate XII, 111, 112) and a rare type which shows Theodosius and Valentinian III seated together on a throne ( Plate XII, 114). The first has the conventional facing head of the emperor, the second has an unusual obverse, the consular type which had been struck for the vicennalian vows (see p. 61 and Plate XII, 113): 54 a diademed profile head of the emperor holding mappa in r., long cross in 1.—a partial representation of his similar figure on the reverse where both he (taller) and Valentinian (shorter, and with higher footstool for his shorter legs) are seated, each holding a mappa in r., long cross in 1. The mappa and the ceremonial robes indicate a consular type. Theodosius and Valentinian were consuls in 425 (Valentinian as Caesar), in 426 (Valentinian now Augustus), in 430—so far for our purpose. In 426 Theodosius held the consulship for the twelfth time, Valentinian for the second. In 430 they held respectively their thirteenth and third consulships. 55 This was the year in which Theodosius actually celebrated his tricennalia, according to Marcellinus Comes. The combination, then, of consular obverse and reverse with the tricennalian legend VOT XXX MVLT XXXX appears to make it certain that no. 114 was struck in 430 or at the end of 429 in honor of the new consulships and the tricennalian festival. Nos. in and 112, on the other hand, being unrelated to a consular festival, could well have been anticipatory for both sets of vows and may therefore have had their beginning well before 430. The scarcity of no. 114 and the frequency of nos. 111 and 112 would support this interpretation of the issues. Nos. 111 and 112 belong to a regular issue covering a considerable period of time; no. 114 was occasional, that is, festal, struck for the actual celebrations connected with the tricennalia and the new consulships. 56

The solidi just discussed seem to be the last of Theodosius II to register the vota, though their reverse type was held over. When the identical type of Constantinopolis was used again, a different kind of dating appeared: IMP XXXXII COS XVII ( Plate XII, 115Theodosius' daughter Eudoxia; Plate XII, 116, 117Theodosius). 57 Here we have the revival of two old methods of dating, by imperatorial acclamation and by consulship. Theodosius' seventeenth consulship lasted from the beginning of 439 to the end of 443. In 444 he became consul for the eighteenth time. Voirol, ignoring the first element of the inscription, ascribed these solidi without hesitation to 439. 58 Laffranchi rightly dated them in 443. 59 The answer to the question of the date depends on IMP XXXXII. What does it mean? In the past the imperatorial acclamation had been conferred when victory demanded and was not something that occurred at regular chronological intervals, certainly not annually; though some emperors, like Domitian, give the impression of having wished to take the title IMP (erator), as well as the consulship, with the regularity of the tribunicia potestas, which was annual. After the middle of the third century, however, the imperatorial acclamation seems in fact to have become annual, and since it is impossible to interpret the title IMP here in any sense but annual, the coins must be dated to 443, the forty-second year of Theodosius' reign and the last year of his seventeenth consulship, for COS XVIII began in 444. There is then no internal contradiction in the legend IMP XXXXII COS XVII. The only troublesome item is the question concerning the use of IMP XXXXII, 60 the interpretation of which is simple enough, and it is difficult to see how one can do otherwise than date the coins to 443. This makes any connection with the publication of the Theodosian Code, in honor of which Voirol (p. 436) thought the coins might have been struck, unlikely. The only reasonable date for the coins, 443, was five years after the last year of the publication of the Codex. The new method of dating appears to have been repeated, as the reporting of rare solidi with IMP XXXXIIII COS XVIII suggests ( Plate XII, 118). 61

These solidi with the imperatorial number have been considered here only because they show that one of the last types appearing on Theodosius' vota solidi (Constantinopolis with globus cruciger) was carried forward under a new legend, a legend which was nevertheless a date. This legend, itself presenting a problem of unorthodox usage in dating, serves as a warning against rigid interpretation of dates and title numbers on coins, including vota indications.

The type of the original solidus on which this study is based (X MVLT XX, Plate IX, 75) follows a pattern that came into being in the time of Theodosius I when vota dates began to be represented on a shield held by one of the two imperial city goddesses, instead of by both Roma and Constantinopolis, as previously. The type with the single goddess was an admission that the empire was divided between separate rulers in East and West. The very next vota solidi of Theodosius II VOT XV MVLT XX ( Plate IX, 77) show a return to two goddesses and reflect a brief reunion in spirit at least of eastern and western empires under Honorius and his young nephew Theodosius II. But when the two goddesses reappear in the West on one of Honorius' VOT XXX MVLT XXXX issues ( Plate IX, 84), the coins have the appearance of suggesting not union through cooperation but of propaganda of a West ready to take up arms against the East in order to press its claim to authority in matters of the succession throughout the empire. So far had history moved in a decade. The question of the succession was always a touchy point with the heirs of Theodosius I, and the problem imminent after the death of Constantius III, the status of his son Valentinian, was to be solved ironically by the flight of the western heirs, Placidia with Valentinian, to the eastern court until the West could be reclaimed by them after the death of Honorius and the defeat of Johannes, who had been chosen by the Senate to fill the gap in the succession. The two goddesses at the end of the reign of Honorius were symbols of empire without a reality to symbolize, even of the spirit; and though Valentinian returned under the patronage of Theodosius, in the latter part of Theodosius' reign the single goddess (Constantinopolis with globus cruciger) remained to sit alone. Hereafter she seems to have disappeared. 62

With the reign of Theodosius II and the reign of his cousin and son-in-law Valentinian III, who was assassinated less than five years after the death of Theodosius, the true vota coinage comes to an end. Those solidi of Pulcheria which bear vota numbers, having identical reverse types and vota numbers as the solidi of Theodosius ( Plate X, 91, 92), are of course to be given to her brother's reign, not to that of her husband Marcian, the successor of Theodosius. Likewise, one of the solidi struck in the name of Valentinian III and bearing vota numbers belongs to a series issued for the vota of Theodosius. The following solidi with vota numbers were struck in the name of Valentinian III:

Vota Mint Rev. Type Obv. Type
Plate XII, 119. VOT XXX MVLT XXXX (of Theod. II) Constantinople Constantinopolis seated, holding globus cruciger, as on coins of Theod. II. Regular eastern facing head type.
Plate XII, 120, 121. VOT X MVLT XX (of Val. III) Ravenna (120) Rome (121) Emperor in consular robe, seated, holding mappa and globus cruciger. Profile bust of Emperor holding mappa and sceptre terminating in cross.
Plate XII, 122. (With the above cf. a semissis in the Newell Coll. with the same vows.)
Plate XII, 123. VOT XXX MVLT XXXX (of Val. III) Rome Emperor holding long cross in r., Victory crowning him on 1., and resting foot on human-headed serpent. Facing helmeted head of Emperor holding spear in front and shield bearing christogram as on solidi of Honorius struck at Ravenna. Cf PP. 51; 54–59
Plate XIII, 124. VOT XXX MVLT XXXX (of Val. III) Rome Emperor standing facing, sceptre terminating in cross in 1. With r. he raises kneeling figure. Profile bust of Emperor holding mappa and sceptre terminating in cross.

No. 119 is placed first because its type, its style and vota numbers show clearly that it belongs to the eastern coinage struck for the tricennalian year of Theodosius II, a.d. 430 (see p. 70). As no 112 (Plate XII) it is placed with the group of which it is a part, the tricennalian coinage of Theodosius II.

Nos. 120 and 121 celebrating Valentinian's decennalia must be dated to January, 435 if we are to regard them as celebrating jointly the decennalia and Valentinian's entrance upon his fourth consulship, as the consular obverse and reverse suggest. This places the coinage within the true decennalian year, Oct. 434-Oct. 435, and at the same time respects the consular types. The western (Valentinian) types are copied from the neat eastern types of Theodosius II struck for his tricennalia in 430 ( Plate XII, 114). The same consular obverse had already appeared on solidi of Theodosius struck for his vicennalia (Carson, NC, 1959, pp. 15f., and pl. III, 17; Plate. XII, 113). On similar consular obverses of Mediolanum, Honorius had carried eagle-tipped sceptre (Ulrich-Bansa, pl. IX, 85) or laurel sprig (ibid., pl. IX, 87) not sceptre terminating in cross.

No. 122 (Plate XIII) is a semissis in the Newell Collection celebrating the same vows as nos. 120 and 121, but no. 122 is not consular.

No. 123 (Plate XIII) evidently bears the same relation to no. 124 (Plate XIII) as no. 84 (Plate IX-Honorius) bears to no. 85 (Plate IX-Honorius); it represents a general vota issue VOT XXX MVLT XXXX while no. 124 represents the actual festal, consular, and tricennalian solidi. Because of its closeness to no. 84 of Honorius in respect to obverse type, I was once inclined to place it earlier and regard it as a western issue of Valentinian III for the tricennalia of Theodosius II and therefore contemporary with Plate XII, 119. But several considerations have led me to place the coin with no. 124 (Plate XIII) in celebration of Valentinian's own tricennalia. 63 Those considerations are as follows: Historical or general. The earlier use by Constantius II and Honorius of Chi Rho on the Emperor's shield of their tricennalian solidi (see p. 58); as Honorius copied Constantius, except for placing his spear in front rather than behind, so Valentinian copied Honorius for his own, not Theodosius' tricennalia. Stylistic or objective. 1. Objective criteria that could be used in determining whether no. 123 (Plate XIII) was closer in date to Plate XII, 120, 121 or to Plate XIII, 124 were, in my opinion, epigraphical, i.e., the Emperor's name, the mint mark R M, the exergual signature COMOB. Of these only COMOB seemed to provide help; whereas frequently this group of letters on western coins follows a design in which C, M, and B are larger than the two O's (CoMoB) as on no. 121; on no. 123, as on no 124 the letters are of relatively even height (COMOB). 2. Another objective criterion appeared to be the segmented border. The segments of the border on coins of the Roman mint seemed to become thicker and more pronounced late in Valentinian's reign. Comparison of the earlier SALVS REI PVBLICAE solidi (Empress enthroned: Laffranchi, Rassegna Numismatica 28, 1931, pp. 254–5; Cohen, 1) of his wife Eudoxia with her later coins (VOT XXX MVLT XXXX, companions to no. 124 of Valentinian) bears this out, the borders of the later group having more pronounced segments. No. 123 has these larger and more pronounced segments and the coin therefore appears to belong close to no. 124 rather than to the early part of the reign, 430, the date of Theodosius' tricennalia or 435, Valentinian's decennalia.

No. 124 (Plate XIII) we place last as representing the actual festal issue for the tricennalia of Valentinian III. The celebration was due in October 454 but was probably deferred until Valentinian became consul for the last time in January 455. The obverse is the obverse of nos. 120 and 121. The reverse is an innovation, combining an old motif ("restitutor," see pp. 82–84) in new dress and the tricennalian vows of Valentinian.

All three types of nos. 120, 121 and 124, one obverse and two reverses, show the Emperor in the capacity of what we might call the Christian Consular as introduced by Theodosius II ( Plate XII, 113, 114). For the distinguishing element of these types is the long cross borne by the Emperor (and on no. 119 by Constantinopolis), the same form of the cross which had appeared on our "long cross" coinage of Theodosius II, though on most of the coins under present discussion the symbol is small (but of the same proportions) compared with the long cross that matched in size the Victory who held it on the "long cross" solidi. In contrast to these consular types, nos. 119 and 123 may be said to have reverse types which are so general that in spite of the vota date they could have been struck over a period of time, whereas 120, 121 and 124 appear to have reference to something particular, reference to a point in time. No. 119 is pure "eastern," part of a series of Theodosius II Nos. 120, 121 and the obverse of no. 124 stem clearly from the sojourn of Valentinian III at the court of Theodosius II before his return to Italy, and from the influence of that court on the young boy newly made Emperor in the West with the backing of the East. Except for the fact that the long cross does not terminate in the christogram, the types of no. 123, on the other hand, are traditionally bound to the West and to coinage struck at western mints. The fact that its reverse type is identical with Valentinian's regular reverses, while its obverse imitates an obverse of Honorius ( Plate IX, 84) points up the manner in which Valentinian's coinage developed from a number of western elements, as well as from influences of the East. This development can be seen in coinage of Valentinian which is not concerned with the vota—his regular solidi with the same reverse type but bearing instead of the vota number the legend VICTORIA AVGGG. To these we shall return in a moment. The young Emperor's earliest western pieces were solidi struck ( Plate XIV, 141) in the same design as the solidi of Johannes ( Plate XIV, 140), who served as Augustus after the death of Honorius until his defeat by the Theodosians returning from the East. Johannes had invented no type of his own but had made use of Honorius' common pagan type ( Plate XIV, 137, 138), not Honorius's new Christian type ( Plate XIV, 139). Valentinian, very soon abandoning the old Honorius-Johannes pagan type (it is very rare for him) based his common reverse type upon this new type of Honorius, where the Emperor was represented holding a long cross terminating in a P (therefore a christogram) and trampling upon a lion with a serpent's tail rather than upon a human enemy. This type of Valentinian was a development from the new Christian reverse of Honorius which may represent that Emperor's last regular (i.e., not festal) solidi. The new reverse of Valentinian showed the Emperor holding the long cross, but without the terminal christogram, and the enemy upon which Valentinian trod was conspicuously a serpent with a facing head that seems now human, now beast ( Plate XIV, 142 ff.). Perhaps as a concession to the now swiftly dying paganism the Emperor bore on his left hand the Victory which had shared Honorius' pagan type but which had been abandoned for a short sword on the Emperor's new Christian type. All of these reverses shared the traditional legend VICTORIA AVGGG.

Valentinian's new reverse type evidently did not travel down the Italian peninsula with him on his return from the court of Constantinople as the long cross coinage travelled southward with Galla Placidia from Aquileia through Ravenna to Rome. Since Valentinian's new solidi were not struck at Aquileia as were Galla Placidia's long cross solidi, Valentinian's new reverse type must have been designed and struck first at Ravenna or Rome after his coronation in October 425. 64 It seems clear from a solidus struck at Rome for the coronation (Ulrich-Bansa, Moneta Mediolanensis, p. 229 and pl. İ, g) that the figure of the young Emperor which was to be his standard representation on the reverse of his solidi was introduced to the Empire at the coronation in Rome. On the reverse of this piece Valentinian Is shown with Theodosius II. His figure is different from the figure on the regular solidi in four respects: 1) he is crowned by the hand of God; 2) there is (therefore) no Victory crowning him on the globe he holds; 3) his long cross (or long sceptre terminating in cross) rather than his foot rests upon the monster; 4) the serpent part of the monster appears at the left instead of the right. The occasion for the first use of this manner of representing the Emperor would then appear to have been the Coronation; the mint, Rome. An example of a Roman die re-cut for use at Ravenna has been recorded for the issue of the regular solidi with this figure of Valentinian. 65 This, too, suggests the introduction of the type from the mint of Rome. It is known to have been struck at a third mint, Mediolanum ( Plate XV, 145) but toward the end of the reign (Ulrich-Bansa, Moneta Mediolanensis, p. 226), probably in connection with tribute exacted by Attila for leaving Italy.

The reverse of no. 123 (Plate XIII), then, appears to have been derived immediately from the mint of Rome, ultimately from earlier types of the mint of Ravenna. While based on Valentinian's coronation solidus it is in reality a modification of the reverse of Honorius' Christian Emperor issue ( Plate XIV, 139). This reverse of Honorius was itself a modification of earlier standing emperor types struck by Honorius and his predecessors. Voirol in three pictures but with no comment, 66 illustrated the evolution of the standing Emperor types from a purely pagan figure (see Plate XIV, 137, 138) through Honorius' Christian Emperor (see Plate XIV, 139), to a third figure introduced by Valentinian and showing a combined effect of pagan and Christian symbolism (see Plate XIV, 142). We have tried to show in detail the development here from traditional and pagan to new Christian type. John's regression to the pagan type may have been tendentious (cf. Voirol, p. 443): he curbed the privileges of the clergy which Theodosius and Valentinian promptly restored (see e.g., Cod. Theod. 16, 2, 47; 16, 5, 62). Valentinian's brief use of the same pagan type shows that he or the mint of Ravenna was simply following tradition, or possibly using a die of Johannes, until his new type was designed and struck.

We have discussed the reverse of no. 123 at length. Its obverse with facing helmeted head and christogram on shield is identical, except for the emperor's name, with the obverse of Honorius' Ravennate solidi discussed on pp. 54–58 ( Plate IX, 84), also struck for a tricennalian period. The influence of Ravenna is clear. Since the solidus has no festal character, apart from its vota legend, it was probably struck over a period of time before or during Valentinian's tricennalian festival, not for the festival itself.

It is otherwise with nos. 120, 121 (Plate XII), whose types define them more explicitly. Their types are consular. They must therefore be close to the entrance upon a new consulship for the Emperors at a time coinciding with celebration of the fulfillment of the vows.

The consular nature of nos. 120, 121 and 124 suggests a combined celebration of vows and entrance upon a new consulship. The particular obverse type, identical for both reverses, is derived from rare solidi struck by Theodosius II in Constantinople for his own vota, XX MVLT XXX and XXX MVLT XXXX ( Plate XII, 113, 114) 67 and so shows the continuing influence of the East on western coinage. Valentinian, from the time of his third consulship in 430 entered upon anew consulship every five years; in other words from COS III through COS VIII in the year of his death (455) his entrance upon a new consulship coincided with his completion of a vota period. 68 There is no evidence from solidi, so far as I know, that he ever celebrated a quinquennium, since only ten-year vota are mentioned, but nos. 120, 121 and 124 can hardly have other indications than the actual celebration of decennial and tricennial vows and the anticipation of vicennial and forty-year vows, combined with entrance upon a new consulship. VOT X MVLT XX can refer to none other then Valentinian, for Theodosius' decennalia were long past, and he had celebrated his own tricennalian vows in 430 on coins with similar obverse, following the precedent of his vicennalian festal issue ( Plate XII, 113, 114). 69 Nos. 120 and 121 refer to Valentinian's decennial vows due for fulfillment in 435. As for no. 124, any initial impulse to see here once more the vows of Theodosius (Ulrich-Bansa, Moneta Mediolanensis, p. 231) is dispatched by the existence of rare solidi of Valentinian's wife, Licinia Eudoxia ( Plate XIII, 125), 70 which record the same vows VOT XXX MVLT XXXX and are in spirit so like no 124 that there can be little doubt that the coins of the Emperor and Empress are to be paired off as actually struck to celebrate Valentinian's tricennalia, presumably between October 454, the beginning of the thirtieth year of the reign, and March 455, the date of Valentinian's death. Licinia Eudoxia was made Augusta at Ravenna on August 6, 439 71 and therefore can hardly have had any coinage of her own before that year. 72 Consequently the possibility that VOT XXX MVLT XXXX on her coinage refers to the vows of Theodosius II is eliminated, for Theodosius celebrated his tricennalia in 430. Coins of Valentinian III recording VOT XXX MVLT XXXX of Theodosius II are represented by no. 119, not 124, which, along with solidi of Eudoxia, was struck for Valentinian's own tricennalia.

A detailed discussion of the reverse type of the last vota solidi will show the significance of the type in conjunction with the date. The Emperor facing, in full figure and in consular, not military, dress holds the cross in his left hand and with his right holds the hand of a kneeling figure whom he is presumably raising. From our knowledge of earlier coinages we can pronounce this a "Restitutor" type without hesitation. 73 The true "Restitutor" type seems to have been used for the first time on the Roman coinage by Staius Murcus, 74 an officer of Caesar's who was governor in Syria when Brutus and Cassius fled to the East. From the nature of his "Restitutor" type, which evidently never existed in great numbers, one may suppose that the uncertain state of affairs after Caesar's assassination gave Murcus for a short time a kind of regal status in the East. After service with the Liberators, he took his fleet over to Sextus Pompey who subsequently had him killed. Since Murcus struck his coins in the East (BMCRep. III, pl. cxii, 10), it is reasonable to suppose the type a result of Hellenistic concepts Murcus acquired in that part of the world. A similar type was struck by Sardes (BMCLydia, pp. 250f., 98–101; Syll. Cop. 515) out of gratitude to Tiberius. Galba applied it to Libertas (BMCEmp. I, p. 358, 258) and Vitellius used it on a rare issue (H. Mattingly, J RS X, 1920, p. 40), after which it appeared under the Flavians on Vespasian's "Roma Resurgens" types (BMCEmp. II, p. 87, 425; p. 121, 565; p. 194, II; p. 202, §). Trajan applied it to Italy, Hadrian to the provinces, giving it a universality which it never lost. This in brief is the earlier history of the type which enjoyed considerable popularity in the trying third century a.d. (see the aureus of Valerian, Plate XIII, 126 and the "Restitutor Britan" piece of Carausius, NC 1953, p. 131). It was also used as a medallion type by the dynasties of Constantine, Valentinian I and Theodosius I as well as by earlier emperors.

Extending Trajan's "Rest(ituta) Italia" concept to particular Roman provinces and to the Empire as a whole (orbis terrarum), Hadrian's catholic use of the "Restitutor" idea was probably responsible for its survival into the late Empire. 75 But in the third and fourth centuries a.d., when the Empire was constantly beset with external foes pressing closer to and within the borders, the idea of the imperial "Restitutor" was maintained as hopeful propaganda by such harrassed rulers as Gallienus and Aurelian. That there was much vain wishful thinking bound up in it is shown by Valentinian's use of the idea shortly before his end, the end of the Theodosian House, and the end of the concept of a unified Empire. From the inception of this type of coinage there were different"Restitutor" types and legends, and often a number of different "Restitutor" types shared a common legend such as the Restitutor Orbis coinages of the third century. Our particular type is close to earlier types with various legends: Restitutor Orbis or Orientis in the third century (cf. Plate XIII, 126, an aureus of Valerian in the Newell Collection), Restitutor Rei Publicae in the fourth, and to some types of Constantius Chlorus and Constantinian types with the legend Pietas August(i) N(ostri) or Pietas Augustorum. 76 Nearest in time seem to be medallions of Valens and Valentinian II (Restitutor Rei Publicae, struck at Trèves) and of Theodosius I and Valentinian II struck at Aquileia. On these the facing Emperor holds the labarum with christogram, and here the female figure being raised is turreted, as she was on the Restitutor Italiae coins of Trajan and the Restitutor Orbis Terrarum types of Hadrian. Our figure does not seem to be turreted. At the back of her head on one specimen there seem to be diadem ends, and on another, a roll of hair (Naville III, 255). Whether we have here Res Publica, Italia = the West, Orbis Terrarum, or possibly the barbarian nations federated within the Empire, this is one of the very few cases where a "Restitutor" type is associated with the vota. 77 What we have here is evidently a combined celebration of the fulfillment of Valentinian's tricennalian vows, the saving of Italy from the Huns, possibly the elimination of Aetius from power and from rivalry to the Emperor, and the Emperor's last consulship. That the happy state of affairs celebrated did not last, did not in fact exist, makes little difference.

The tricennalia of Valentinian III are not recorded in literature or on inscriptions so far as I know. Delbrueck (Spätantike Kaiserporträts, Berlin, 1933) placed the VOT XXX MVLT XXXX coinage for Valentinian III in a.d. 455 (p. 99), for Eudoxia, ca. 450 (p. 103) and gave 453 as the date for Valentinian's tricennalia. Better coordination of dates is possible. Valentinian's thirtieth year began in the fall of 454 and would have ended in the fall of 455. But his death came in March. In January 455 Valentinian entered upon his last consulship. 78 Since his previous consulship began in 450, and the tricennalian year was October 454- October 455, we must place the coins close to January 455 or deny that they were associated with the new consulship as well as the vota. Unless evidence to the contrary is forthcoming, it seems best to retain the traditional association of vota, idea of triumph, and new consulship, and to place the tricennalia in a.d. 454/5, the striking of the coins perhaps at the end of 454, in anticipation of a January celebration of both vota and consulship.

With this date the type would seem to fit. The Emperor, himself not a warrior, is in festal robes rather than in the military dress which Constantius Chlorus, Constantine, Valens, Theodosius I, and Valentinian II wore on their "restitutor" medallions, 79 and Valentinian bears the cross taken from the eastern coinages rather than the labarum with christogram which had been in use on the western coins and medallions. Nor is Valentinian nimbate as were the emperors just mentioned. The type seems to have been new in detail and evidently was not repeated. 80 It can be associated with Valentinian's vota only because in the vota period mentioned (XXX-XXXX) the Emperor conceived of himself as restoring the world (orbis terrarum) and the Res Publica after the containment of the Huns. This scene depicting a beneficent relation between Emperor and subject is quite different from recent representations of emperors on solidi who, including Valentinian himself, were shown trampling upon the enemy or upon a monster (see Plates XIV, XV). Previously Valentinian on his regular coinage had trod upon a human-headed serpent (lion-headed according to Hess Cat. Mar. 24, 1959, lots 393, 4) doubtless representing the barbarian world ( Plate XIV, 142). His uncle Honorius had trod upon a captive ( Plate XIV, 137, 138) and had been followed in his use of the type during the brief reign of Johannes ( Plate XIV, 140). During his reign, Honorius had also introduced a long cross type of his own replacing the labarum with a long cross surmounted by a P and the captive with a "mythical animal" resembling a lion ( Plate XIV, 139). Since he followed immediately upon Johannes, who had used Honorius' traditional "emperor subduing barbarian" type, Valentianian, too, but only at the very beginning of his reign, and at Ravenna, using perhaps a die of Johannes, trod upon the human figure rather than the "mythical animal," ( Plate XIV, 141) (for examples of this rare issue see de Salis, NC, 1867, pl. VIII, 10; Glendining Sale Catalogue [May 27 1936], lot 254; see also Delbrueck, op. cit., p. 98, no. 1 = Naville Sale Cat. 3, 253). So slight had been Valentinian's issue of this type when he changed to a variant of Honorius' Christian Emperor type, that it is almost unknown for him, and Valentinian has come to be associated exclusively with the Christian Emperor standing upon a human (or lion-headed) serpent. This type, seeming to look back at the pagan anguiped giants subdued by Zeus and Athena on imperial (Diocletian) and local (Selucia ad Calycadnum) coins and forward to St. George and the Dragon, became Valentinian's regular, common solidus ( Plate XIV, 142). 81 And so the special "Restitutor" type created for his tricennalia and showing a merciful Emperor receiving homage from a grateful subject was a radical departure in spirit from Valentinian's regular solidi. The merciful pagan emperor and the victorious Christian emperor were now transformed into the merciful Christian emperor, a figure that seems unsuited to the slayer of Aetius. Like the rare solidus of his Empress showing the christogram surrounded by a wreath and demonstrating by the legend SALVS ORIENTIS FELICITAS OCCIDENTIS (de Salis, p. 206 and pl. VIII, 1; Sabatier I, s. v. Eudoxia I, pl. IV, 25; cf. E. Demougeot, following Goodacre, in her impressive and useful work, De l'unité à la division de l'empire romain 395–410, p. 264) that the concept of a united Empire was not dead, Valentinian's "Restitutor" solidus is a document representing an unfulfilled hope, for shortly after it was struck the Emperor was dead and chaos had set in anew. For the West had in a short space of time undergone a vast transformation which differentiated it politically from the East more sharply than ever. The very coinage of the time with its degenerate style closely resembling the style of the rare gold pieces that were to follow under Valentinian's successors (cf. Plate XV) shows how "barbarized" official Rome had become. Although some of the solidi shown on Plate XV may be "barbaric imitations," it seems certain, as comparison with the latest rare vota solidi suggests, that the regular coinage in the West was being produced by "barbarian" officials and artisans (cf. the views of Ulrich-Bansa, Monet. Mediol., pp. 238f.).

With the reigns of Theodosius II and Valentinian III the recording of the vows on solidi seems to come to an end, and reference to the vota on other metals and denominations is indeed rare. Marcian's long cross coinage, carrying on the type which Theodosius and Placidia had spread over the eastern and the western world, always bore the legend VICTORIA AVGGG, never a vota number, and this inscription persisted as long as the type lasted, until the reign of Anastasius in the East, and longer in the West. Those solidi of Pulcheria which bear vota numbers belong to her brother's coinage, not that of her husband. Rare solidi of Leo I with the seated Constantinopolis and VOT XXX MVLT XXXX (e.g., a specimen in the Statens Historiska Museum which was in a hoard found on the island of ölund, Sweden, and has been called to my attention by Joan Fagerlie of the ANS) are possibly hybrids using a reverse of Theodosius II. In the West, Valentinian III had carried on the tradition of the vota solidi under the influence of both his western predecessor Honorius and his eastern mentor Theodosius. A solidus of Majorian, like his silver, bears the reverse inscription VOTIS MVLTIS, 82 showing that whatever value the vota legends once had for indicating the date of the coinage, that value has disappeared here. This and the growing use of XXXX, the highest vota number used, shows the vows now suggesting an indefinite idea of imperial eternity rather than marked-off periods of the reign. The common use of XXXX is reflected in its appearance on silver medallions ( Plates XIII, 133, XIV, 134) bearing the name of Justin. 83

Silver of Julius Nepos (a.d. 474–5) is reputed to bear VOT V MVLT X. 84 On the coinage of the eastern emperors the Victory continues to inscribe the vota on semisses ( Plate XIII, 127-132: Theodosius IIAnastasius), but the numbers recorded seem to have little actual meaning, for the figures are sloppy and imprecise. There are semisses of Marcian reading XV/XX or XV/XXX (a coin in the ANS collection reads clearly cross / XXXV ( Plate XIII, 130), 85 and of Leo I reading XV/XX or XV/XXX; 86 of Leo and Zeno, XVX; 87 of Zeno alone, VXXX or VXX V, both for XXXX?; 88 Anastasius, XXX?, XXXX definitely; 89 Justinus I, XXXX; 90 Justinian, XXX or XXXX. 91 Anastasius has also a VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM semissis with VOT(a) P(opuli) C(onstantinopolitani), 92 besides semisses with XXX and XXXX. 93 Of silver vota issues there are pieces of Marcian, Leo I and Zeno with difficult inscriptions, 94 and Anastasius, Justin I and Justinian issued small silver bearing the evidently meaningless VOT MVLT MTI. 95 Dated coinage had actually ceased to exist. A memory of the old tradition of dated coinage returned briefly in the form of a hybrid or barbaric solidus of Leo which repeated a reverse type of Theodosius with IMP XXXXII COS XVII. 96 In any case, small wonder that Justinian, when he began to date his bronze coinage (from April, 538), introduced dating by regnal years. 97 This was not the only method of dating that was to appear on the Byzantine coinage, 98 but it was the simplest, most conspicuous, and the longest lasting. Abbreviated forms of acclamation wishing the emperor many years (MVLTOS ANNOS) 99 were yet to appear on some Byzantine solidi, but this is something different from the vota indications. The whole vota coinage was dead, and on the lesser denominations where the vota had been recorded as a reverse type, some form of the cross had already intruded in those days when the last vota solidi of the Theodosian House were being struck. While it had maintained the custom of celebrating the imperial vows on the coinage to the end, the House of Theodosius at the height of its power had already begun to replace the vota numbers with new symbols, new traditions.

End Notes

The greater number of these pieces seem to bear COMOB rather than CONOB in the exergue. It has been thought that the coins with COMOB were struck in Constantinople for circulation in the West (see A. A. Boyce, "Eudoxia, Eudocia, Eudoxia, " in ANSMN 6 (1954), P. 139 and n. 23. Recently J. P. C. Kent, "Gold Coinage in the Later Roman Empire," Essays in Roman Coinage Presented to Harold Mattingly, Oxford, 1956, p. 203, has suggested that they were struck in various cities of Asia Minor in connection with Theodosius' expeditio Asiana.
Cf. discussion pp. 54–58 where the city goddess type (no. 84) is dated before the consular type (no. 85).
Cf. solidi of Honorius, Ulrich-Bansa, Monet. Mediol., pl. IX, 85, who holds eagle-tipped sceptre and mappa.
See the consular lists in Mommsen, Chronica Minora.
Cf. this difference in vota issues of seemingly identical date (a difference demonstrable because of the greater rarity of no. 114 compared with nos. in, 112) with other similar sets of vota issues, such as those of Honorius (pp. 51–60 and Plate IX, 84, 85).
L. Laffranchi, "Il medaglione aureo di Teodosio II," Numismatica VII, 1942, p. 43, gives two reverse types for this legend: 1) seated Constantinopolis; 2) Theodosius seated as consul and on obv. diademed, bearded profile bust, mappa in r. hand, cross in 1.
"Münzdokumente," p. 436.
Op. cit., p. 42. Cf. A. A. Boyce, "Eudoxia, Eudocia, Eudoxia," ANSMN 6 (1954), PP. 134–38 and Kent, "Gold Coinage," p. 203.
Cf. Ulrich-Bansa, Numismatica, 1935, p. 25: Molte questioni di carattere storico e numismatico sono connesse con l'interpretazione della leggenda-data di questo rovescio, ma al momento attuale non ci si sente in grado di affrontare il problema di offrirne una spiegazione convincente.
A drawing in Numismatické Listy, 1947, p. 65, reproduced also in Boyce, o p. cit., pl. XV, no. 8. Mr. J. P. C. Kent informs me that a solidus with this e gend was recently sold in Vienna.
Except for a possible return on coins of Justin II (BMCByz. I, p. 75, cf. p. 77). Toynbee, op. cit., p. 277.
My feeling and historical arguments vs. an early dating were confirmed in London (Spring, 1960) by J. P. C. Kent who argued for a late date on stylistic criteria not discussed here.
For the date, Pauly-Wissowa, RE VIIA (1948), s. v. Valentinianus III, col. 2234.
J. P. C. Kent, "Gold Coinage, etc.," Essays Presented to Harold Mattingly, Oxford, 1956, p. 200, n. 5.
"Münzdokumente," pl. II, 25–7.
See pp. 60–61; 70–71.
Consular lists in Mommsen, Chron. Min.
Laffranchi, Numismatica VII (1942), p. 42; see also p. 70 above. For the vicennalian solidus with consular obverse, NC, 1959, pp. 15f. and pl. 3, 17.
Laffranchi, "Nuovo aureo di Licinia Eudossia," Rassegna Numismatica 28 (1931), pp. 251–6, no. 9; Ulrich-Bansa, "Note sulle monete dell'Augusta Aelia Licinia Eudoxia," Numismatica, 1935, pp. 25–31; Cohen, Médailles Impériales 8, pp. 218f., 2.
Pauly-Wissowa, RE VII-A (1948), s. v. Valentinianus III, col. 2237.
Solidi celebrating the marriage of Valentinian and Eudoxia were struck in the name of Theodosius (Spink's Numismatic Circular, 1960, p. 73, fig. 1; 1959, P. 155. fig. 3).
One can get a notion of the history of these types by running through the legend indexes of the British Museum Catalogues and, for the periods where these are lacking, the indexes of RIC. For medallions mentioned in the ensuing discussion, see Gnecchi, I Medaglioni Romani (Milano, 1912) and J. M. C. Toynbee, Roman Medallions, NS 5 (ANS, 1944). See also n. 80 below.
The account of the Restitutor types here was written independently of L. Cesano's account, "Un Medaglione Aureo di Libio Severo e l'Ultima Moneta di Roma," Studi di Numismatica I (1940), pp. 87–90.
The so-called "Restitutor" types of the Aquillius family do not seem to me true "Restitutor" types to be compared with the raising of a kneeling figure, which is the type we are concerned with here. On the subject in general see Regling's note in H. Dressel "Ein Tetradrachmon des Arsakiden Mithradates III," ZfN 33 (1922), p. 177; P. L. Strack, Untersuchungen zur römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, I Stuttgart, 1931, p. 190, especially n. 829; A. Alföldi, Die Ausgestaltung des monarchischen Zeremoniells, RM 49 (1934), PP. 52ff.
For Trajan's "Italia Restituta" and Hadrian's "Restitutor" types see BMCEmp. Ill, Index V, pp. 621 and 628f.
The following is a list of photographs of late "Restitutor" coins and medallions compiled from standard catalogues: Tacitus, Gnecchi II, pl. 116, 9; Florian, Gnecchi II, pl. 118, 11; Constantius Chlorus, Toynbee, pl. 8, nos. 5, 6; Constantine I, Gnecchi I, pl. 7, 9, Maurice I, pl. 9, 3; Constantinopolis, Gnecchi II, pl. 131, 7; Constantius II, Maurice I, pl. 14, 1; Valens, Gnecchi I, pl. 15, 2; Gratian, Toynbee, pl. 29, 9; Valentinian II, Gnecchi I, pl. 19, 8, Toynbee, pl. 35, 1 and 2; Theodosius I, Gnecchi I, pl. 19, 12.
Cf. Gnecchi II, p. 112 and pl. 116, 9 (Tacitus): R. Reipublicae Vota Publica; and p. 115, pl. 118, 11 (Florian): R. Saeculi Vot X.
Chron. Min. I, pp. 247, 483.
See n. 76.
A more complicated type, similar to one of the Constantinian period which included figures of Roma and Victory, appears on a large gold medallion of Libius Severus (a.d. 461–65) published and discussed in detail by S. L. Cesano in "Un medaglione aureo di Libio Severo e l'ultima moneta di Roma imperiale," Studi di Numismatica I, fasc. 1 (Rome, 1940), pp. 83–98, an article which concludes with a survey of the coinage (particulary the solidi) from Libius Severus to Romulus Augustus. Signorina Cesano points out (p. 92) that the secular content of this Ꜹ medallion of Libius Severus is in tradition with the content of earlier similar medallions of Christian emperors who struck Christian symbols on their coinage but not on their medallions, which were reserved for traditional pagan festivities of state. Reasoning along these lines we may say that the Christian content of Valentinian's "Restitutor" solidus is in tradition with the development of vota solidi as well as other solidi toward a Christian ideology. What makes Valentinian's solidus exceptional is its combination of the vota-restitutor-Christian ideas, two separate pagan concepts united by an Emperor whose sceptre had become identified with the cross. It may be noted that Ulrich-Bansa, Monet. Mediol., p. 271, n, 40, questioned the genuineness of the Ꜹ medallion of Libius Severus. But cf. J. M.C.Toynbee, NC 1940, pp, 17–23.
Cf. Maurice I, pl. 9, 2 (labarum on serpent; Gnecchi I, pl. 10, 9 (Constantius II on horseback; beneath, serpent); Gnecchi II, pl. 139, 8 (Julian treading on monster). On these late imperial types see also E. Babelon, "Attila dans la numismatique," RN 1914, esp. pp. 308–14; A. Grabar, L'empereur dans l'art byzantin, Paris, 1936, pp. 43–5 (human-headed serpent); 160 (removal of brutality from the coinage); J. Babelon, "La thème iconographique de la violence," Stud. Pres. to D. M. Robinson II, pp. 278–88.
Cohen 12 (Brit. Mus.), image, Cohen 13.
Two of these medallions ( Plates XIII, 133; XIV, 134) are in the Newell Collection. Since this paper was written, these medallions, along with a specimen in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection, have been published by A. R. Bellinger ( Dumbarton Oaks Papers 12 (1958), pp. 152–3). A medallion of this type, found at Dorylaeum, Phrygia, was published by B. Pick as a medallion of Justinian I in "Ein neues Porträt des Kaisers Justinian," Num. Zeit. 60 (1927), pp. 21–6, an article which cites many late, corrupt, and meaningless vota legends (pp. 24–6). The legends on the obverses of the two Newell pieces, when studied together, make it clear that the name of the emperor is Justin, not Justinian. But there appears to be some question as to which Justin—I or II—issued the medallions. For in answer to a recent query of mine (1963), Mr. Philip Grierson has stated that he wonders whether these silver medallions should not be attributed to Justin II, together with most of the silver coins assigned to Justin I. "In the case at least of the large medallions," adds Mr. Grierson, "it is worth noting that solidi of Justin II with a short beard have since been found." The process by which L of MVLT was corrupted to S on these medallions can perhaps be understood when one sees such examples of L and T as appear on pl. VIII, 79 b of Ulrich-Bansa, Monet. Mediol.
Cohen 12 (Tanini).
Sabatier (Marcian, no. 7) cites "XV-XX ou XX-XXX" but the drawing on his plate clearly shows XV-XXX.
Ratto Sale Cat. (Dec. 9, 1930), 254 (photo.); Sabatier 8; Tolstoi, pl. 8, 18. It is clear from Sabatier's drawing that X-XX in his catalogue (copied by Mattingly, p. 253) is highly doubtful; XV/XXX is certain on a number of pieces; on others, the figures seem to be XV and XX. Sabatier (no. 1) reports a medallion with VOT XXXV MVLT XXXX.
Ratto 274; Tolstoi, pl. 9 (Zeno), 6.
Ratto 291; Sabatier 3 (XXX in catalogue; cf. pl. VII, 19—XXXX; Tolstoi, pl. 10, 25.
Ratto 323 (XXX); Sabatier 4; Tolstoi, pl. 12, 11; BMCByz. I, pl. I, 3. Two pieces in the ANS collections clearly have XXXX (e. g., Plate XIII, 132). Two-thirds of the specimens in the ANS photofile show XXXX; one-third are unreliable for the vota figures.
Ratto 387; Sabatier 3; Tolstoi, pl. 16, 18; BMCByz. I, pl. 11, 12. The intention of the die-engravers seems to be to cut XXXX, but the figures are not always complete.
Ratto 465; Sabatier 4 (drawing has XXX); Tolstoi, pl. 19, 44f. (incomplete; both pieces unreliable as evidence for any definite vota number); BMCByz. I, pl. IV, 13 (XXX). Of specimens in the ANS photofile I note six as having XXXX, eight as unreliable.
Sabatier 6; Tolstoi, pl. 15, 124.
Ratto 323–5; Sabatier 4; Tolstoi, pls. 11, 12, nos. 10, 11. For all semisses mentioned here cf. Lafaurie's list, Gallia, Suppl. 12, p. 287.
Marcian: VOT MVLT XXXX, Tolstoi 25; Leo: VOT XXXV MVLT XXXX?, a large silver medallion, Sabatier, pl. VII, 1; Zeno: TOV VIMV MTI, Ratto 297, Tolstoi, pl. 10, 33; Sabatier 10.
Anastasius: BMCByz. I, pl. 1, 6; Justinus I: Tolstoi, pl. 16, 26; Justinian I: BMCByz. I, pl. IX, 11–12 (HTI); see also p. 63, n. 4 and cf. pl. 9, 14; Ratto Cat. 474; cf. 476–8.
Tolstoi, pl. 9, 42; COMOB, western issue. O. Ulrich-Bansa, "Note sulle monete dell'Augusta Aelia Licinia Eudoxia," Numismatica, 1935, p. 25, speaks of a barbaric imitation of Leo I with this legend and says that Marcian, too, had this dated legend.
BMCByz. I, p. 30ff. Cf. P. Grierson, "Dated Solidi of Maurice, Phocas, and Heraclius," NC, 1950, 49–50.
Ibid., pp. 49–70 and see also op. cit., "The Consular Coinage of Heraclius," PP. 71–93.
BMCByz. II, pp. 332, 335, 358, 360, 363, 366, 378, 391.


  • ANS—The American Numismatic Society, New York
  • Ashmolean—The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
  • BM—The British Museum
  • Berlin—Staatliche Museen, Münzkabinett
  • Metr. Mus.—Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Munich—Staatliche Münzsammlung
  • Paris—Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothèque Nationale
  • Vienna—Münzkabinett, Kunsthistorisches Museum
  • Private collections are indicated by name.
  • Sale catalogues are indicated by dealer's name and date of sale.

Strict legend division for the long cross coinage has been generally ignored, and the usual eastern and western exergual letters CONOB and COMOB (also COB), including their barbaric variants, have been omitted. Eastern officina letters, however, have been included, as well as the abbreviated names of mints appearing on western issues. In the Diocletianic lists Ξ (= 60) has been used, though various forms appear on the coins. Missong, ZfN 7 (1880), p. 267 claimed to have found the classic form of this letter on a Berlin aureus, but Sutherland, J RS 51 (1961), p. 94 uses a variant form.

References in the last column of the "Key" are to pages and notes of this monograph.

A New Augustan Aureus of 17 b.c.
1. Augustus, Ꜹ M · SANQVINIVS · III · VIR Comet 7.8 Private Coll., Italy 1–11
2. Augustus, image M · SANQVINIVS · III · VIR Secular Herald 355 ANS (Gautier) 2, 3 n. 8, 6, 7 n. 10, n. 12, 8–11
3. Augustus, image (plated) M · SANQVINIVS · III · VIR Secular Herald 2.90 ANS (Husker) 2, 3 n. 8, 6, 7 n. 10, n. 12, 8–11
4. Augustus, Æ; before head, star DIVOS IVLIVS 24.29 ANS 3 n.8
5. Augustus, image L LENTVLVS · FLAMEN MARTIALIS Augustus (or the Flamen Martialis) placing star on statue of Divus Julius 3.82 ANS (Newell) 7 n. 12
6. Domitia DIVVS CAESAR IMP.DOMITIANI F Deified son of Domitian on globe amid stars Gans, Mar. 9, 1954, 558 2 n.5
7. Domitian, image COS XIIII LVD SAEC FEC Secular herald 1.35 ANS (Newell) 2 n. 6, 7 n. 10
8. Domitian, image On cippus, COS XIIII LVD SAEC FEC Secular herald before cippus recording Ludi Saeculares ANS 2 n. 6, 7 n. 10, 11
The Dated Coins of Pompeiopolis
9. Reign of Tiberius (hd. Pompey) 8.195 Dorsey Stephens 14, 15, 19–21
10. Reign of Tiberius (hd. Pompey) 10.32 BM 12–14, 19–21
11. Nero 6.47 Paris 16, 17 n., 19
12. Nero 7.48 Paris 16, 17 n., 19
13. Domitian 10.53 Paris 17–20, cf. 15
14. Domitian (hd. Pompey) 11.22 Paris 17–20, cf. 15
15. Domitian (hd. Pompey) 9.28 BM 17–20, cf. 15
16. Domitian (hd. Pompey) 14.40 Paris 15, 17–20
17. Domitian (hd. Pompey) 11.16 Ashmolean 15, 17–20
18. Domitian 9.15 Paris 17–20, cf. 15
19. Domitian 12.08 BM 17–20, cf. 15
20. Hadrian 11.68 ANS (Newell) 15, 19, 20
21. Antoninus Pius 12.73 Paris 20
22. L. Verus 3.77 Paris 20
23. Julia Domna 18.08 ANS (Newell) 20
24. Septimius Severus 32.58 ANS (>Newell), Cahn 71, 913 20
25. Caracalla 13.64 Paris 20
26. Diadumenian 17.1 Vienna 20
27. Julia Mamaea 19.90 Paris 20
28. Gordian III 15.4 Vienna 16, 20
29. Gordian III 17.9 Vienna 16, 20
30. Philip I 12.29 Munich 16, 20
31. Philip II 9.90 von Aulock 16, 20
The Ninth Consulship of Diocletian and the Consular Reverse
32. Diocletian CONSVL VIIII SIS 4.91 ANS (Access., 1949) 23, 24, 28
33. Maximian CONSVL V SIS 5.75 ANS (Newell) 28; not in Pink
34. Diocletian CONSVL IIII Ratto, 1912, 1894 26
35. Diocletian CONSVL IIII 5.38 ANS (Newell) 26
36. Diocletian CONSVL IIII Glendining, Nov. 24, 1925, 165 26
37. Diocletian CONSVL IIII 5.35 Helbing, June, 1929, 3915 26
38. Diocletian CONSVL IIII Schulman, May 5, 1913, 607 26, 27
39. Diocletian antoninianus 4.17 ANS (Newell) 27
40. Maximian antoninianus 3.73 ANS (Newell) 27
41. Diocletian CONSVL IIII SMAΞ Feuardent, June 16, 1924, 269 27
42. Diocletian CONSVL IIII SMAΞ Bourgey, Dec. 7, 1908, 555 ("545" on pl. of cat.) 27
43. Diocletian CONSVL IIII SMAΞ Dupriez, Apr. 7, 1913, 1634 27
44. Diocletian CONSVL V SMAΞ* 5.19 ANS (Mills, Metr. Mus. Loan) 27
45. Maximian CONSVL IIII SMAΞ* 5.42 ANS (Newell) 27
46. Diocletian CONSVL VI SMAΞ* 5.38 ANS (Newell) 27
47. Maximian CONSVL V SMAΞ* 5.37 Hirsch 29 (1910), 1336 27
48. Diocletian CONSVL VII ·SMAΞ* 5.35 Naville 3 (1922), 147 27
49. Maximian CONSVL VI ·SMAΞ* 5.32 Hirsch 29 (1910), 1337 27
50. Maximian CONSVL VIII ·SMAΞ* 5.29 Berlin 27
51. Antoninus Pius COS IIII 7.36 Metr Mus. (Durkee), formerly on loan to ANS 30
52. Antoninus Pius COS IIII 7.42 ANS (Newell), Hirsch 29 (1910), 1040 30
53. Elagabalus COS III 6.4 Gift, E. Gordon, 1953; Hirsch 15, May 28, 1906, 1420; MN 7 (1957), P. 79, no. 13 (pl. 17, 3). 36
54. Postumus COS III 6.7 Metr. Mus. (Durkee), formerly on loan to ANS 36
55. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Æ core of denarius 3.24 ANS (Gautier) 34
56. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.05 ANS (Newell) 34
57. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.32 ANS (Access., 1953) 34, 35
58. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.44 ANS (Access., 1953) 34
59. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.49 ANS (Newell) 34
60. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 2.97 ANS (Newell) 34, 35
61. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.43 ANS (Endicott) 34, 35
62. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.44 ANS (Newell) 34
63. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.15 ANS (Newell) 34
64. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.39 ANS (Gautier) 34
65. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.20 ANS (Access., 1953) 34
66. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.01 ANS (Gautier) 34
67. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.45 ANS (Newell) 34
68. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 2.49 ANS (Access., 1953) 34
69. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.47 ANS (Newell) 34
70. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.65 ANS (Gautier) 34
71. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Denarius 3.32 F. Knobloch 34
72. Geta Augustus PONTIF TR P II COS II Denarius 3.11 ANS (Gautier) 34, 35
73. Geta Augustus PONTIFEX COS II Aureus Münzhdlg. Basel 6 (Mar. 18, 1936), 1856 34, 35
74. Geta Caesar PONTIF COS II Aureus Hirsch 33 (1913), 1362 34, 35
A New Solidus of Theodosius II and Other Vota Solidi of the Period
75. Theodosius II X/VOT/XX ∈ 4.47 ANS (Access., 1952) 43–48, 51, 74
76. Honorius XX/VOT/XXX I Cahn 80, Feb. 27, 1933, 998. Now BM 43–45, 50–52
77. Theodosius II VOT/XV/MVL/XX Ratto, Dec. 9, 1930, 152 46–48, 55–56, 74
78. Arcadius VOT/V/MVL/X H 4.4 ANS (HSA) 49
79. Arcadius VOT/V/MVL/X image 4.46 ANS (Newell) 49
80. Arcadius VOT/V/MVL/X ϴ 4.10 Fecht (on deposit, ANS) 49
81. Arcadius VOT/X/MVLT/XV I 4.39 ANS (Gautier) 49
82. Arcadius XX/XXX 4.35 ANS (Gautier) 49–50
83=88. Honorius VOT XX MVLT XXX ∈ 4.45 Santamaria, Jan. 24, 1938, 1058 51, 52
84. Honorius VOT/XXX/MVLT/XXXX 4.40 ANS (Newell) 50, 51, 53 n.21, 54–58, 70, 74, 76–77, 78, 80
85. Honorius VOT XXX MVLT XXXX 4.48 Hirsch 29 (1910), 1542 50, 51, 53–54, 58, 70, 76
86. Honorius VICTORI AAVGGG R V 4.44 ANS (Newell) 54, 59
87. Theodosius II VOT XX MVLT XXX A 4.4 ANS (HSA) 59
88=83. Honorius VOT XX MVLT XXX ∈ 4.45 Santamaria, Jan. 24, 1938, 1058 59
89. Eudocia VOT XX MVLT XXX I 4.47 Naville 13 (1928), 1552 59
90. Eudocia VOT XX MVLT XXX I 4.44 Naville 15 (1930), 2011 59
91. Pulcheria VOT XX MVLT XXX ∈ 4.40 Hirsch 31 (May 6, 1912), 2060 59, 68
92. Pulcheria VOT XX MVLT XXX Ratto, Dec. 9, 1930, 237 59, 68
93. Pulcheria VICTORI AAVGGG 4.27 ANS (Newell) 67, 68
94. Aelia Placidia (Galla Placidia) VOT XX MVLT XXX I 4.39 ANS (ex Morgan); Strozzi 2001? (not illus.) 59, 60–64
95. Galla Placidia VOT XX MVLT XXX A Q 4.46 Hirsch 18 (1907), 1762; Hirsch 31 (1912), 2007 59, 63–67, 69
96. Galla Placidia VOT XX MVLT XXX R M 4.48 Hirsch 29 (1910), 1544 59, 63–67, 69
97. Galla Placidia VOT XX MVLT XXX R V 4.42 ANS (Newell) 59, 63–67, 69
98. Galla Placidia VOT XX MVLT XXX R V 4.35 ANS (HSA) 59, 63–67, 69
99. Honoria BONO REI PVBLICAE R V 4.48 Naville 3 (1922), 256 65
100. Marcian VICTORI AAVGGG 4.44 ANS (Newell) 66–67, 68
101. Valentinian III VICTORI AAVGGG 4.44 Münzhdlg. Basel, Mar. 18, 1936, 2088 66, 68
102. Marcian VICTORI AAVGGG H 4.48 ANS (Newell) 67, 68
103. Issued in the name of Theodosius II VICTORI AAVGGG I (rev. of Marcian) 4.35 ANS (Newell) 68
104. Issued in the name of Theodosius II VICTORI AAVGGGGG 4.39 Naville 15 (1930), 2009 68
105–108: Solidi struck in the West in the Ostrogothic period.
105. Anastasius VICTORI AAVGGG ϴ 4.42 ANS (Newell) 68
In 1. f., monogram indicating that this solidus was struck in Rome
106. Justinus I VICTORI AAVGGG A 4.5 ANS (Newell), BMCOstrog. p. 48, 12–14. 68
107. Justinian I VICTOR IAAVGG A 4.43 ANS (Parish) BMCOstrog. pp. 60–61, 1–6 68
108. Justinian I VICTOR IAAVGG A 4.49 ANS (Field) BMCOstrog. p. 61, 4; pl. 7, 17 (same rev. die). 68
109: Said to be Gallic Gold
109. Issued in the name of Anastasius VICTORI AAVGGGV 4.25 ANS (Newell) 68
110: Said to be German Gold
110. Libius Severus (tremissis) VICTORI AAVGGG 1.45 ANS (Newell) 68
Whether this coin, one of two types of tremisses struck in the name of Libius Severus (L. Cesano, Studi di Numismatica I, 1940, pp. 93f.), is an imitation or not, it is notable for combining the type of a solidus struck before and after Libius Severus with the weight of a tremissis. It is of better style than the tremisses on pl. 5 of W. Reinhart's "Die Münzen des Tolosanischen Reiches der Westgoten," Deutsches Jahrbuch für Numismatik I (1938) and on pl. 2 of P. LeGentilhomme's "Le monnayage... dans les royaumes barbares en Occident," RN 1943, where similar tremisses struck in the name of Valentinian III are illustrated.
111. Theodosius II VOT XXX MVLT XXXX A 4.48 ANS (Newell) 60–70, 71, 72
112. (=119) Valentinian III VOT XXX MVLT XXXX Γ 4.41 ANS (Newell) 70, 71, 72, 76
113. Theodosius II VOT XX MVLT XXX 4.44 BM 60–61, 71, 76, 77, 81
114. Theodosius II VOT XXX MVLT XXXX 4.28 BM 70, 71, 72, 76, 77, 81
115. Eudoxia, daughter of Theodosius II, wife of Valentinian III IMP XXXXII COS XVII 4.0 Fecht (on deposit ANS)
116. Theodosius II IMP XXXXII COS XVII 4.4 ANS (Durkee) on loan from Metr. Mus. 72
117. Theodosius II (copy?) IMP XXXXII COS XVII 4.41 ANS (Field) 72
118. Theodosius II IMP XXXX1III COS XVIII Numismatické Listy 1947, P.65 73
119. (=112) Valentinian III VOT XXX MVLT XXXX Γ 4.41 ANS (Newell)
120. Valentinian III VOT X MVLT XX R V Santamaria, Jan. 24, 1938, 1080 75–78, 80–81
121. Valentinian III VOT X MVLT XX R M