Roman Medallions

Toynbee, J. M. C. (Jocelyn M. C.), 1897-1985
Numismatic Studies
American Numismatic Society
New York
Worldcat Works




Table of Contents





The numismatic vocabulary of ancient Rome contained no separate words corresponding to our modern terms "medal" and its augmentative "medallion." As stated at the very opening of a book on Roman medallions, this fact might appear, at first sight, disconcerting. But it can be readily explained. In so far as our term "medal" connotes a memorial piece, struck to commemorate an event or idea, the whole of the Roman imperial coinage may be described as essentially medallic in character. To the vast bulk of modern coin types, conspicuous for their lack of variety both in design and execution, devoid of vital topical interest and repeated with wearisome monotony over long consecutive periods of time, the coin types of the Roman Empire present a contrast which is no less striking for being obvious and, by now, thoroughly familiar. From the middle of the first century onwards the imperial government had appreciated, as few governments have done before or since, not only the function of coinage as a mirror of contemporary life, of the political, social, spiritual and artistic aspirations of the age, but also its immense and unique possibilities as a far-reaching instrument of propaganda. Modern methods of disseminating news and modern vehicles of propaganda, from postage-stamps to broadcasting and the press, have their counterpart in the imperial coinage, where yearly, monthly, we might almost say daily novelties and variations in types record the sequence of public events and reflect the aims and ideologies of those who controlled the state. Thus there are few Roman imperial coins which could not, in this sense of the term, be described as "medals"; and from the purely commemorative point of view the distinction between coin and medal would be one of degree rather than of kind. A medal is, of course, not merely commemorative. It is also donative, intended to reach a special section only of the community and hence deliberately limited in the scope of its appeal. In other words, for all its superficial resemblance to a coin, the primary purpose of a medal is not circulation as currency but distribution as a gift. But here again, in the case of Rome, there is the influence of donative coins to be reckoned with; there are the congiaria and liberalitates, distributions of coins by the Emperors at all periods to the poor of Rome, and the military issues which, from the middle of the third century onwards, played a role so important as to imprint their character upon the general currency of the Roman state.1 Such issues may well have tended to emphasize the medallic functions of the Roman coinage as a whole and hence to obscure the need for some separate term by which to differentiate pieces designed specifically as individual gifts from donative coins issued en masse as currency for civilians and troops alike. The more medallic the coinage, the less sharply defined the specialized functions of the medal. In the third place, a modern medal is immediately distinguishable from a coin by its external characteristics.

The right of issue and of portraiture does not belong exclusively to the state: following closely upon this, the subjects and ideas commemorated are not confined to those which are of public or official interest; and so far as concerns the choice of metals and the standards of weight and size, there is no necessary connection or correlation between medals and the current coinage. But throughout the whole range of Roman imperial issues such complete independence of the ordinary official and legal monetary systems is a phenomenon quite unknown. The Roman world was, in fact, unacquainted with the medal or medallion in the strict modern sense of those terms. In what sense, then, are we justified in using the term "Roman medallion"?

It should now be clear that the Roman medal, unlike its modern counterpart, admits of no ready-made, hard-and-fast single definition. The frontier between coin and medallion can never be drawn with absolute precision; and there will always remain a certain number of border-line pieces which can, with almost equal justice, be claimed by either side. But there are, among the varied products of the Roman imperial mints, numerous pieces, falling into certain well-defined categories, which, while they conform externally to many of the general rules governing the ordinary coinage, undoubtedly stand above and apart from the regular currencies, pieces which cannot be in any way adequately covered by the term "coin" and which, in spite of their obvious divergencies from modern medals, filled a quite special and unmistakably medallic role. To these Roman approximations to the modern medal we may apply the following general definition: they are "monetiform" (or "coinlike") pieces which never correspond completely to any of the coin denominations in regular use and which the evidence, external and internal, proves to have been struck by the Emperor for special or solemn commemoration and to have been primarily and specifically intended for presentation or distribuiion as individual, personal gifts, any idea of their circulation as currency being either wholly absent or, at the most, quite secondary and subordinate. A satisfactory "label" for such pieces is not easy to come by. "Medal" is best avoided as conveying a false impression of identity with the modern counterpart. The traditional term "medallion" is likewise open to criticism as being itself suggestive of the modern medal, while as an augmentative by derivation it fails, in strict logic, to do justice to those smaller pieces the medallic character of which does not depend on size. But there are obvious practical objections to uprooting a term which has been consecrated by long service in the numismatic world: a single word which could be used as a convenient and suitable substitute is still to seek; and while we frankly admit it to be, in some senses, conventional, we can at least justify the retention of the term "medallion" as directly applicable to the very large pieces, whether of gold, silver or bronze, medallic pieces par excellence, in which differentiation from the current coinage was most patently and consciously stressed.2

End Notes

1 Alföld, L’antiquité classique, May 1938, pp. 15 f.; CAH xii, pp. 221 f.
2 Compare the view of Roman medallions outlined by B. Laum in his Über das Wesen des Mϋnzgeldes (1930), SS. 11-21. According to Laum "medallion" was included in "moneta." But the term "moneta" did not in ancient times necessarily imply suitability for circulation; and it is unsuitability for circulation which distinguishes medallions from coins.


Having found a general definition and a common name to cover our various medallic series, we can now proceed to their classification. Roman medallions, as we have defined them, fall into three main categories:–I. Medallions proper; II. Money medallions; III. Pseudo medallions.

I. Medallions Proper.

Medallions in the strictest sense of the term are those bronze pieces which are clearly differentiated from the regular currency by certain well-defined features of structure, style and content. Most important and characteristic are the large bronze medallions easily recognizable as exceeding the ordinary bronze coins of largest denomination—the sestertii, down to Gallienus—in size of diameter, thickness of flan and weight. Occasionally the specifically medallic character of such a piece is made immediately apparent to the eye by the addition of a broad rim or circle framing the central design. Such rims are decorated with concentric grooves and bevels or with ornamental borders of varying degrees of elaboration. In some cases rim and centre form one single flan; in others the rim was added to the central flan in ancient times. "Framed" medallions first occur under Hadrian, become specially numerous under Antoninus Pius and continue under the Antonine and Severan dynasties down to the reign of Alexander Severus.1 Some pieces, again, are set in narrow grooved or bevelled rims.2 In the case of other pieces, struck on particularly large flans exceeding in area the space required for the actual types, a plain, "natural" rim is formed round the designs on either side.3 From Antoninus Pius down to Diocletian and Maxmian another favourite device for stressing, externally, medallic character was that of striking a piece on a disc composed of two metals, with a central portion of one metal and an outer rim of anothe.4 The two metals thus employed were either two qualities of bronze or copper and bronze, the inner part being of the softer metal, the better to receive the impression of the types, the outer part being harder and more resisting. Often the line of division between the two metals runs through the letters of the circumference legends, showing that the two were put together to form a single flan before the piece was struck. Not infrequenty fine pictorial and colouristic effects are produced by the juxtapostiion of red centre and yellow rim. The bi-metaliic process was clearly intended to attract the eye; just as, in the third century, bronze pieces were plated and silver pieces gilded, as a simple, if somewhat crude and superficial, method of enhancing their medallic aspect.5

But such obvious devices were, after all, the exception rather than the rule. The great majority of large bronze medallions remain sufficiently stamped as such by size of diameter and thickness of flan; while, from the practical point of view, their intrinsic unsuitablitty for circulation as currency is only relatively less patent than that of "framed" and bi-metaliic pieces. Weight, on the other hand, has long been the rallying-point of those who would deny us the use of the word "medallion" in any real sense of the term. According to Kenner 6 and to the earlier theory of Gnecchi 7 the large bronze medallions down to Gallienus are nothing more than multiples of asses and sestertii. Gnecchi, again, in his later work, while rejecting his former equation of bronze medallion with multiple coin, takes 1318 bronze pieces dating from the time of Hadrian to that of Gallienus, works out their average weight as being c. 50.07 grammes and from this concludes that the value of a medallion was normally fixed at that of a double sestertius.8 But the appeal to averages can often be very misleading and produce, as in the present case, a totally false impression. Discounting the exceptional "framed" and bi-metallic pieces, weights of large bronze medallions of this period can be registered for almost every point on the scale from c. 30 to c. 83 grammes. C. 50 grammes may represent the commonest weight, but it does not necessarily imply a consciously fixed standard: were this so, we should hardly expect to find so many pieces, at both ends of the scale, failing thus conspicuously to conform to it. Kenner's system of multiples is too elaborate, and Gnecchi’s double sestertius theory is too simple, to fit the facts of the actual weights, which suggest, on the contrary, a complete absence of any fixed scheme or standard. For the post-Gallienic period, with the increasing disparity, not in structure only but also in style and content, between the large bronze medallions and the largest bronze coins, the multiple theory is obviously even less tenable.

Thus the main structural features of the large bronze medallions proper—size and thickness of flan and extreme variability of weight in the case of all pieces and the use of "frames" and bi-metallic striking in special cases—combine to establish the conclusion that they were never originally intended to circulate as coin of the realm. Some large medallions may, of course, have circulated later as currency accidentally, as it were; and this might account for the poor condition in which certain pieces have come down to us. But causes other than circulation can obviously be assigned to wear: even "framed" medallions, where circulation was clearly out of the question, are not wholly exempt from it.

When we turn from the structure to the style of our large bronze pieces we find again that they exhibit essentially medallic characteristics. The obverse dies, with their high relief and exquisite finish, provide a unique series of imperial portraits unsurpassed in the history of Roman iconography; while the reverse designs display a standard of skill and beauty which is normally quite unparalleled on the regular coinage. Bronze medallions are, before anything else, works of art; and here the distinction between coin and medallion is patently not one of degree only, but of kind. Closely allied to the artistic aspect of medallions is the question of their rarity and variety. Such outstanding and often superb products of the medallist’s art were not turned out in the mass. Bronze medallions are comparativey rare as a class and, with a few exceptions, rare individually. It is quite usual for a type to be represented by one example, or, at the most, by a very few examples; and subsequent discoveries have confirmed the opinion expressed by Gnecchi in 1912, that at every new medallion find the odds are in favour of new types, or at any rate new variants or combinations of types, being brought to light.9 When confronted with two or more pieces displaying identical obverse or reverse types, it is fairly normal, in the early period, to find that they were struck from identical dies. On the other hand, general identity of type is often accompanied by small die variations between one piece and its fellows; and indeed, in view of the hard blows required for striking dies in such high relief, the number of specimens obtainabe from a single die can never have been great. Again, the same reverse die is often combined with two or more different obverses, and vice versa; nor is it rare to find the same reverse die combined with obverses of two or more Emperors or Empresses. But it is exceptional to discover two or more pieces struck from identical dies both on obverse and reverse simultaneously. Finally, the content of the large bronze medallions proper reveals no less strikingly than do their structure and style a genuine independence of the regular currencies. Taken as a whole, the vast majority of medallion types either do not appear at all on ordinary coins or are only found there in less rich and complex versions. Some medallion types may seem to be mere elaborations of coin types. But a large proportion of the subjects depicted are derived, not from coins, but from major works of art; and thus the work of the medallist is linked less closely, in a sense, with that of the coin-designer than with that of the sculptor or of the painter. In their wealth and variety of interest the types unmistakably affirm the primary role of medallions as gift pieces presented to special persons on special occasions.

There remains a small and mysterious group of large bronze pieces to be considered, the unilateral medallions, so called from their blank reverses, but corresponding to the large medallions proper in size of diameter and thickness of flan, in the scale of their weights and in the style and technique of their obverse portraiture.10 Some of these, although recorded as unilateral, were obviously not so originally: sometimes the obverse has been cut from the reverse, while in other cases the reverse design has been scraped off or has virtually disappeared through wear. But others are genuinely unilateral. They have smooth, polished backs, sometimes slightly concave or ornamented with a central boss: they show no sign of having ever received a reverse type. Of the various explanations offered to account for these unilateral pieces—that they were "proofs" or experiments for obverse dies, samples of their work submitted by medallists competing for posts at the mint or specimens of imperial iconography destined to serve as models for provincial issues— none are really conclusive or wholly satisfactory. They remain a problem as yet unsolved. Meanwhile they must be included in our series on the grounds of their structure and style; nor is there anything to exclude the possibility that they were issued as presentation pieces of an experimental and quite exceptional type.

Our account of the large bronze pieces would be incomplete without at least a statement at this point of the well-known fact that the letters s c, which down to Gallienus appear normally, though not invariably, on the ordinary bronze coinage, are, with a few exceptions, omitted on the bronze medallions proper. To the problem of the real significance of these letters we shall afterwards retun.11 For the moment it is enough to insist that their presence or absence cannot rightly be used as a criterion in itself for distinguishing between coin and medallion, although their absence on the vast majority of medallions is a matter of obvious importance.

So far we have applied to bronze medallions proper the three criteria of structure, style and content. In the case of the large pieces, all three factors may be taken together as equally decisive. We now come to a series of smaller bronze pieces which are less clearly differentiated by their structure from the current coinage, but where style and content become the really decisive factors in vindicating their claim to be classed as true medallions. In size of diameter, in thickness of flan and in weight such pieces are often indistinguishable from coins of the regular denominations. Weights, it is true, are, on the whole, more variable than in the ordinary currencies; and there are pieces of regular coin dimensions the weight of which is distinctly higher than the normal weight of the corresponding coins.12 In the third century we even find small bi-metallic pieces, the medallic character of which is thus placed beyond doubt on structural ground.13 But for the most part, in detecting the small medallions, we must take as our true criteria high relief, special finish and fineness of touch, rarity and the use of reverse types unusual in themselves or tallying with those of the large medallions. It is here, above all, that the boundary between coin and medallion often becomes so difficult to draw. Gnecchi's adherence to the s c criterion for these smaller pieces led, as we shall see later, to somewhat strange results.14 There is, in fact, no royal road that we can follow. Each piece must be considered on its own merits and tested by its style and content. If the results are such as to establish its character as a special commemorative piece, suitable for solemn presentation within a restricted field, then we may safely include it in our class of medallions proper. It must, however, be borne in mind that the circulation of these smaller medallions as currency, if not originally intended, was rendered far more likely than in the case of the larger pieces, owing to their structural similarity to regular coins. The great majority of smaller bronze medallions proper were struck by Hadrian, Trajan and the Antonine Emperors down to Commodus. Pieces of sestertius size are most frequent under Trajan and Hadrian, after whose time they grow gradually rarer. Pieces of dupondius and as dimensions are also fairly frequent under Hadrian, while of the period from Pius to Commodus they are a regular and characteristic feature. In the second quarter of the third century these miniature bronze medallions were again much in vogue. A specially fine series was issued under Alexander Severus, some pieces bearing the formula scon the reverse, but inseparable, on grounds of style and content, from those without it; the exclusion of these s c pieces by Gnecchi from the medallion category is an instance of the fallaciousness of his criterion. Again, for the period from Gordian III to Gallienus we have a certain number of small bronze pieces of undoubtedly medallic character. From Gallienus onwards it becomes increasingly hard to differentiate small true medallions from ordinary coins on stylistic grounds: content is often the only guide. With Constantine I the history of small bronze medallions virtually comes to an end.

End Notes
1 The following is an analysis of "framed" medallions known to the present writer (including a few doubtful pieces):—Trajan: 1, Hadrian: 20, Sabina: 1, Aelius Verus: 1, Antoninus Pius: 26, Faustina I: 3, Marcus Aurelius: II, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus: 1, Faustina II: 2, Lucius Verus: 6, Lucilla: 1 (very doubtful, probably false), Commodus: 7, Albinus: 1, Septimius Severus: 2, Julia Domna: 1, Geta: 3, Elagabalus: 1, Elagabalus and Aquilia Severa: 1, Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea: 1. A few later and mostly quite abnormal pieces may be noted:—Gordian III: 2 (1 = Profectio Avg: obverse and reverse are formed of thin plates of silver applied to the central bronze flan. 2 = Victoria Avg and round temple: the obverse is made of a thin silver plate and applied to the central bronze flan), Philip I, Otacilia and Philip II: 1 ( = ex oracvlo apollinis and round temple: obvesse and reverse are formed of thin silver plates applied to the central bronze flan, the obvere plate having now gone), Trebonianus Gallus and Votusianus: 1 (= six-horse chariot: obverse and reverse are formed of thin silver plates applied to the central bronze flan, the obverse plate having now gone), Valerian and Gallienus: 1 (= Adventvs Avgg: normal piece).
2 E. g. G II, taw. 39, no. 8; 42, no. 8; III, tavv. 146, nos. 3, 8; 147, no. 7; 149, no. 7.
3 E. g. G II, tavv. 39, nos. 7, 9; 40, no. 3; 52, no. 4; 57, no. 4; 61, no. 4; 65, no. 6; 67, no. 2; 71, no. 1; 72, no. 3.
4 The following is an analysis of bi-metallic medallions known to the present writer (including a few doubtful pieces):—Antoninus Pius: 1, Marcus Aurelius: 3, Lucius Verus: 1, Lucila: 1, Commodus: 142, Albinus: 1, Julia Domna: 6, Caracalla: 1, Geta: 1, Macrinus: 1, Diadumenianus: 1, Elagabalus: 5, Alexander Severus: 24, Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea: 16, Julia Mamaea: 7, Maximinus: 7, Maximinus and Maximus: 4, Pupienus: 1, Gordian III: 79, Philip I: 11, Philip I and Philip II: 3, Philip I, Otacilia and Philip II: 21, Philip II: 9, Philip II and Otacilia: 1, Trajan Decius and Etruscilla: 1, Etruscilla: 3, Hostilianus: 2, Trebonianus Gallus: 8, Trebonianus Gallus and Volusianus: 6, Volusianus: 4, Valerian: 5, Valerian and Gallienus: 5, Gallienus: 9, Gallienus and Salonina: 1, Gallienus and Saloninus: 3, Salonina: 4, Saloninus: 1, Postumus: 5, Claudius Gothicus: 1, Tacitus: 3, Probus: 11, Carus and Carinus: 1, Numerianus: 3, Magnia Urbica: 4, Diocletian: 6, Diocletian and Maximian: 2, Maximian: 3. One medallion of Commodus (in Berlin: G II, tav. 77, no. 3) shows the unusual phenomenon of a bi-metallic piece set in a frame.
5 E. g. silver and bronze Tres Monetae medallions from Caracalla to the Diocletianic Tetrarchy. In the Evans Collection, now dispersed, there was a piece of Annia Faustina said to be composed of a silver disc set in a bronze rim (Evans Collection Sale Catalogue 1934, p. 107, no. 1614, pl. 50). The type, however, is that of an ordinary sestertius; the inner disc may thus be only silvered bronze and the piece an example of a bimetallic pseudo medallion (vide infra p. 26).
6 "Der römische Medaillon" (NZ 1887, SS. 1-173).
7 E. g. Roman Coins, ed. 2, 1903, pp. 130-139.
8 G I, p. xxx.
9 G I, p. li.
10 The following examples have been personally examined by the present writer:—Hadrian: 5, Antoninus Pius: 2, Faustina I: 2, Marcus Aurelius: 7, Lucius Verus: 1 (a doubtful piece), Lucilla: 1, Commodus: 4, Carinus and Numerianus: 1.
11 Vide infra pp. 45 ff.
12 E. g. a small bronze medallion of Hadrian in the British Museum, with the reverse type of the infant Juppiter suckled by the she-goat Amalthea, weighing 14.89 grammes (BMCCRE III, p. 442, no. 1362 A; Strack II, Taf. 16, Nr. 444). Pl. I, 1.
13 E. g. small medallions of Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea (Romae aeternae: Paris, no. 7469 = G III, tav. 153, no. 8) and of Julia Mamaea (temporvm felicitas: Vienna, no. 105747). Two other small medallions of Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea, showing the "liberalitas" type (Royal Collection, Turin; National Museum (Gnecchi), Rome), are composed of silver centres set in bronze 'rims' (G III, p. 45, no. 9, tav. di suppl., no. 3).
14 Vide infra pp. 28 ff.

II. Money Medallions.

Money medallions are gold and silver pieces which exceed in size and weight the standard unit of contemporary currency. They were struck on a fixed system as true multiples of gold and silver coins and could therefore, legally, be used as money. They passed through the same periods of decline and revival in quality of metal as did the coinage. From the reign of Gallienus, when the silver coinage, which had been steadily declining, was replaced by silver-washed copper (billon), until well on into the reign of Constantine, when the silver currency was again revived,15 there were practically no real silver medallions; and the weights of both gold and silver multiples, at all periods, vary and rise and fall with the weights of the ordinary coins. But money medallions are not mere multiple coins. Unlike the so-called "cistophoric medallions," struck in Asia and equivalent to three denarii, they did not form part of the regular currency. The first proof of this is their rarity as a class in general and as individual examples in particular. Nor do they occur numerically in the same proportions as the gold and silver coins in successive periods of imperial history. In the first and second centuries both gold and silver medallions are extremely rare, especially the gold. In the third century down to Gallienus silver medallions are more plentiful; whereas gold medallions of the early third century, before the accession of Gallienus, are still scarce, though, according to Lampridius, numbers of gold multiples, ranging in value from that of 2 to that of 100 aurei, were struck by Elagabalus and demonetized by Alexander Severus.16 It is not until the late third and fourth centuries that multiples as a class become in any degree common. In the fourth century, after Constantine’s revival of the silver coinage, we have a fairly continuous series, from Constantius II to Arcadius, of large multiples of the silver miliarensia. But the really characteristic money medallions of the later Empire from Diocletian onwrards are the gold pieces, multiples first of aurei tariffed at one-sixtieth of a pound and then, after c. 310, normally of solidi tariffed at one seventy-second of a pound, ranging in size and weight from the 1½-solidi pieces first issued by Constantine I to the 72-solidi piece of Valens from Szilágy Sómlyó.17 Here again the individual rarity of these gold pieces excludes the mere multipe coin theory of their origin. It is true that in the case of the smaller multiples—the 1½-solidi and the 2-solidi pieces—the number of known examples of a single type, or of variants of a single type, can be as many as sixteen;18 and the actual circulation of such pieces as money is certainly well within the bounds of possibility. But for the larger multiples one example, or at the most two or three known examples, of any given type is the general rule: and it is hard to imagine that such highly individualized pieces can ever have actually served as legal tender. In the second place, even the lesser multiples stand distinctly apart from the regular aurei and solidi in their style and content and the fine state of preservation in which they have come down to us. As for the larger multiples, their size and high intrinsic value, their fine style and technique and the varied and individual character of both obverse portraits and reverse designs mark them out as rare and special presentation pieces, potentially money but actually preserved and treasured by their recipients as tokens of honor or pledges of imperial favor.

Thus in the primary purpose of their issue money medallions are no less true medallions than the bronze medallions proper. Both alike were intended, not for circulation, but for special or solemn distribution as gifts. The difference lies in the essence of the gifts. The point of a bronze medallion was its structural and stylistic beauty and the interest of its type; it was as a work of art or as a commemorative record, not as an object of material value, that the gift was both offered and received. Money medallions are also, normally, works of outstanding artistic merit, particularly from the iconographical point of view; while in content their types can rival those of the bronze as historical and political documents of the highest significance. But struck as they were in the precious metals and on carefully fixed standards, it was inevitable that their intrinsic monetary worth should assume an importance at least equal to that of all their other assets; and their prevalence under the later Empire reflects the spirit of an age in which, under the pressure of economic and other causes, cultural values were beginning to yield place to those of a more materialistic order. Emphasis is, indeed, laid upon the monetary value of multiples as gifts in two literary texts, the well-known passages from Lampridius' Vita Alexandri Severi (ch. 38) and from Gregory of Tours' Historia Ecclesiastica, Francorum (vi, 2). The passage of Lampridius runs as follows:—"formas binarias ternarias et quater-narias et denarias etiam atque amplius usque ad liberales19 quoque et centenarias, quas Heliogabalus invenerat, resolvi praecepit neque in usu cuiusquam versari; atque ex eo his materiae nomen inditum est, cum diceret plus largiendi hanc esse imperatori causam, si, cum multos solidos minores dare posset, dans decem vel amplius una forma triginta et quinquaginta et centum dare cogeretur." We notice here, first, that the terms "formae binariae," "ternariae" etc., imply a graduated scale of multiples struck on fixed monetary standards, while all the stress is laid upon weight and intrinsic value, to the exclusion of content and style; secondly, that these multiples are regarded as forming part of the same system of largess as that under which ordinary coins were distributed; and, thirdly, that the issue of large gift pieces, the equivalent "una forma" of several, or many, gold units, was an arbitrary matter, superadded as an "extra" to the ordinary coinage and dependent upon the Emperor's personal will. The phrase "in usu cuiusquam versari" does not necessarily imply actual circulation, though it does suggest the possibility of putting such pieces to some kind of commercial use. It is another question whether multiples of so large a size would really have been struck as early as the first half of the third century or whether the writer’s statement has been colored by his knowledge of the great gold medallions of the later Empire. At any rate it would appear that Alexander s demonetization order was very thoroughly carried out: only one gold multiple of Elagabalus, the binio in Berin,20 has, so far as we know at present, come down to us. On the other hand, a few gold pieces issued by Alexander himself are known to us—a binio in Paris,21 a binio in Munich,22 the famous 8-aurei piece in Paris, found at Tarsus in 1867,23 and the lost Paris 4 (?)-aurei piece of Alexander Severus and Julia Mamea.24 Our second text describes a presentation of large gold medallions by the Emperor Tiberius II Constantinus (578-582) to King Chilperic:—"aureos etiam singularum librarum pondere, quos imperator misit, ostendit, habentes ab una parte iconem imperatoris pictam, et scriptum in circulo, tiberii constantini perpetvi avgvsti: ab alia vero parte habentes quad-rigam et ascensorem, continentesque scriptum, gloria romanorvm." The importance of this passage as throwing light upon the purpose of medallion issues will be discussed later.25 Its immediate interest for us lies in the use of the term "aurei" for such pieces, indicating the fundamentally monetary character of gold multiples even of the largest size.26 Again, the decree issued "de expensis ludorum" by Valentinian II, Theodosius I and Arcadius in 384, forbidding privati to distribute as gifts heavier silver coins (nummi) than those weighing one-sixtieth of a pound, links the silver multiples to the coin system.27 At the same time, the decree implies a real distinction between multiples and ordinary coins. One-sixtieth of a pound represents the weight of the heaviest miliarensia of the period. These, being part of the regular currency, might be distributed by private individuals, while the right of distributing multiples was reserved for the Emperor, a further proof that they were regarded as special gift pieces of a rare and exceptional character.

End Notes
15 Although Diocletian issued a restored denarius, the argenteus, at the time of his reform, scarcely any silver coins were struck between c. 307 and 330 (Mattingly, Roman Coins, p. 223, n. 4).
16 Vide infra p. 23.
17 "In Vienna. G I, tav. 17, no. 1.
18 E. g. eqvis romanvs 1½-solidi pieces of Constantine I. G I, tav. 6, no. 12.
19 Kenner's emendation of the meaningless MSS readings "libribres" and "bilibres" (= 100 aurei = centenariae, since one aureus = 1/50th of a Roman pound at the time of Alexander Severus) has been adopted here.

III. Pseudo Medallions.

We have defined medallions as pieces clearly distinguished in one way or another from regular coins and intended, not for circulation, but for special or solemn presentation as commemorative gifts. This definition must, as we have seen, include a series of bronze pieces the differentiation of which from coins lies less in structure than in style and content; and inasmuch as style and content are, in the case of the bronze, a more searching test of medallic character than outward structure, we have classed this series among medallions proper. Pseudo medallions, on the other hand, are bronze pieces differentiated from coins solely by structural, external and, in a sense, superficial features. Struck, in most cases, from actual coin dies, they show specifically medallic traits neither in style nor in types.28 Yet at the time of their coining deliberate steps were taken to exclude them from circulation as regular currency, to lift them, in fact, out of the category of coins into that of "medals." Such steps include the striking of dupondius and as types on sestertius flans and of sestertius types on medallion flans; the striking (very rarely) of sestertii in two metals; the mounting of sestertii in narrow rims; and the striking of sestertius types on large discs, so that the designs are framed by more or less elaborate bevelled or grooved rims, corresponding to those of the great "framed" bronze medallions proper. According to Blanchet29 and Mowat30 these "mounted" coins were experimental or trial pieces, "proofs" from dies to be submitted to the Emperor before large numbers were struck off, the object of the large flans being to avoid confusion between them and current money. Had this been their purpose we should expect to find such pieces spread fairly evenly over the whole imperial period down to the second half of the third century. But while most reigns down to that of Gallienus are represeneed by at least one example of sestertii struck on normal-sized medallion flans, they are far commoner in the first and early second centuries than in later times. As for the "framed" pieces, they are fairly abundant in the first century and under Trajan and Hadrian, but grow rarer from the time of the Antonines onwards: incidentally, the variety and careful workmanship which characterize these "frames" suggest that they served a more positive and aesthetic purpose than the mere avoidance of confusion with ordinary coins. Pseudo medallions, or medallised coins, are, in fact, essentially a feature of the early imperial period; and although they are still to be found under later Emperors, their chief part was played before the history of bronze medallions proper seriously begins. We may see in them the precursors of the true medallion, the first stage in the evolution of special commemorative and donative pieces standing apart from the regular currency; and, as such, they cannot logically be excluded from the study of Roman medallions.

A brief review of representative pseudo medallions of the first century may serve to illustrate this phase of development. Under Augustus a number of pieces show dupondius and as types struck on sestertius or medallion flans. For example, the common as reverse type of Agrippa, Neptune standing with trident and dolphin,31 appears on a piece, formerly in the Evans Collection, measuring 38 mm. in diameter and weighing 58.77 gramme.32 As and dupondius types of the Tresviri Monetales are struck on sestertius and medallion flans measuring from 35 to 39 mm. in diameter and sestertius types of the moneyers occur on medallion flans: of the latter there is a striking example with a diameter of 43 mm.33 Noteworthy among pseudo medallions of Divus Augustus are a specially heavy medallion flan in the British Museum, weighing 72.16 grammes, with the as type of s c and thundrbolt,34 and a restoration of Nerva formerly in the Vierordt Collection, a large "framed" piece measuring 52 mm. in all and weighing 91.3 gramme.35 For the reign of Gaius we may mention a piece at Gotha with the well-known sestertius type of the three princesses36 set in a narrow rim, the whole measuring 40 mm.; and a heavily rimmed piece of Agrippina I in the British Museum with the carpentum type,37 48 mm. in total diameter and 107.27 grammes in weight. Claudius is represenedd by a few pieces. For Nero eleven examples are known to the present writer, all stamped with familiar sestertius and dupondius types.38 Eight of these have "frames" or rims of varying size and elaboration, grooved or bevelled, and they range in diameter from 45 to 56 mm. and in weight from 51.37 to 88.45 grammes. Thus, in the case of Neronian pseudo medallions, those of the "framed" type, in which the medallic character is most conspicuously stressed, form the great majority of extant pieces and they may be regarded as forerunners of the large "framed" medallions proper of the Hadrianic and Antonine periods. A pseudo medallion of Galba at Naples, with a regular sestertius and dupondius type struck on a medallion flan,39 appears to be our first example of a genuinely bi-metallic piece: on the obverse the line of division between the two metals can be clearly seen cutting through the letters of the circumference legend. Under the Flavians pseudo medallions were rarer: we may note in passing that the Vespasianic piece in Paris, described by Gnecchi as "the first senatorial medallion" is simply a regular sestertius struck on a medallion flan.40 In the case of the vast majority of first-century pseudo medallions the relative positions of obverse and reverse dies are ↑↓.41

With the advent of the bronze medallion proper under Trajan and Hadrian pseudo medallions no longer possess the same significance as representing Rome's earliest excursions into the medallic field. Henceforth they appear as exceptional pieces, merely supplementing the true medallion issues, and a brief illustrative summary of their post-first-century history will serve our purpose here. At first, indeed, they remain fairly numerous. No less than twelve pieces of Hadrian have been personally examined by the present writer and of these eight are "framed." For Antoninus Pius several fine specimens have been published by Gnecchi.42 But under the later Antonne Emperors the output gradually declines, Commodus, the most prolific striker of bronze medallions proper, being represented by only one pseudo medallic piece, so far as the present writer is aware.43 With the Severan dynasty pseudo medallions become somewhat commoner again. Noteworthy are two specially fine specimens of Julia Domna at Milan with the sacrifice-to-Vesta sestertius types, both struck on bi-metallic flans;44 a bi-metallic piece of Caracala in Paris, with the Aesculapius sestertius type;45 and a piece of Geta in the British Museum of quite outstanding beauty, with the sestertius type of Bacchus and Hercules (di patrii) set in a broad rim adorned with two borders of dots.46 Alexander Severus is represented by five pseudo medallions, Julia Mamaea by one piece. For Gordian III we have two fine specimens, both with an adlocutio scene on the reverse and probably struck from the same dies.47 Philip I, Otacilia, Hostilianus, Trebonianus Gallus,48 Volusianus and Valerian are all represented by one or more pieces. For Salonina we have a heavy piece in Paris 49 and a lighter piece at Oxford. Finally, our series closes with a piece in Paris issued by Claudius Gothicus, showing an as type struck on a medallion flan.50

The interest and importance of pseudo medallions lies, then, first in their historical role as forerunners of the true medallion and secondly in their own specifically medallic character regarded from the purely structural point of view. But in style and content their kinship is with the regular coinage, and it is, obviously, to histories of the latter that we must turn for their classification and for the interpretation of their types. They add little to our knowledge of the special contribution made by medallions as such to the history of politics, religion and art in imperial times. We have now sketched out and illustrated the story of their development, and in the chapters which follow they will receive only incidental attention.

End Notes
20 G I, tav. 1, no. 7.
21 G I, tav. 1, no. 10.
22 pax aeterna avg: Pax standing to left (Pl. XXIX, 1).
23 G I, tav. 1, no. 9 (Pl. XLIV, 5).
24 G I, p. 5, no. 1: felicitas temporvm (Pl. XXVII, 2). A rubbing of another, probably 4-aurei, piece of Alexander Severus was seen by the present writer at the British Museum in Sept., 1938:—obv. = imp caes m avr sev Alexander avg; bust of Alexander Severus, laureate, to right, seen three-quarters to front, with palu-damentum and cuirass: rev. = p m tr p cos p p; Alexander Severus in slow quadriga to right, holding eagle-topped sceptre in left hand and reins and olive-branch in right hand: diameter = 29 mm. The present owner of this medallion is unknown.
25 Vide infra pp. 117 f.
26 Chilperic's medallions were each worth 72 solidi and weighed 327 grammes apiece.
27 Cod. Theod. 15, 9, 1:—"cum publica celebrantur officia, sit sportulis nummus argenteus, alia materia diptychis: nec maiorem argenteum nummum fas sit expendere quam qui formari solet cum argenti libra una in argenteos sexaginaa dividitur." This passage is in agreement with the general imperial policy of forbidding private largitiones on a lavish scale.
28 The large majority of Gnecchi's so-called "senatorial medallions," figured in Vol. III, taw. 159, 160, are really pseudo medallions, coin types struck on medallion flans. The obverses of two pieces of Antoninus Pius (G III, tav. 160, nos. 2, 5) appear, however, to have been struck from medallion dies (= G II, taw. 43, no. 3; 48, no. 3). One piece of Antoninus Pius with s c (G III, tav. 160, no. 3) must, on grounds both of style and type, be classed as a true medallionn proper.
29 RN 1896, pp. 235 ff.
30 RIN 1911, pp. 165 ff.
31 RIC I, p. 108, no. 32.
32 Evans Collection Sale Catalogue 1934, p. 71, no. 1220, pl. 33. This piece would appear, however, to be of doubtful antiquity.
33 Vierordt Collection Sale Catalogue 1923, p. 35, no. 630, pl. 7: weight = 31.6 grammes (now in the Hall Collection at Llanymynech).
34 RIC I, p. 95, no. 1.
35 Vierordt Collection Sale Catalogue 1923, p. 37, no. 654, pl. 8.
36 RIC I, p. 117, no. 26, pl. 7, no. 115.
37 RIC I, p. 118, no. 42, pl. 8, no. 123.
38 E. g. Annona and Ceres, Victory advancing to left or right, Temple of Janus, Triumphal Arch, Roma, Securitas, Temple of Concordia, Harbour of Ostia. A remarkable piece with the Ostia type, formerly in the Walters Collection, is practically equivalent to four sestertii (NC 1915, p. 329, pl. 16, no. 4): it is, however, possibly false.
39 Diameter = 40 mm., weight = 47.1 grammes. Cf. RIC I, pp. 204, 206, nos. 50, 69.
40 Diameter = 40 mm., weight = 40.3 grammes. G III, p. 89, no. 27, tav. 159, no. 1.
41 Vide infra p. 130 ff.
42 G III. tav. 160, nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8. For the Tiberis type (no. 2) cf. Levis Collection Sale Catalogue 1925, pl. 24, no. 579.
43 Sestertius type on medallion flan (38 mm.) at Milan.
44 RIN 1892, p. 306, no. 33, tav. 7, no. 3: diameter = 36 mm, weight = 43.3 grammes; G III, tav. 160, no. 9. Cf. RIC IV, i, pp. 311, 313, nos. 594, 607.
45 Cf. RIC IV, i, p. 301, no. >538.
46 Cf. RIC IV, i, p. 330, no. 112, pl. 16, no. 7. Pl. I, 2.
47 Milan (37 mm., 41.5 grammes) and Messrs. Seaby, Oct. 1938 (39 mm, 46.6 grammes).
48 E. g. small bi-metallic piece in Berlin with type of Salus. Pl. I, 3. Cf. C2 V, p. 251, no. 120.
49 Weight = 57.15 grammes. Cf. RIC V, i, p. 112, no. 46, pl. 4, no. 62.
50 Cf. RIC V, i, p. 234, no. 267a, pl 6 no. 90.


I. Coins Incorrectly Classed as Medallions.

In the foregoing chapters we have attempted to show that all pieces to which we have applied the term "medallion," whether they be medallions proper, money medallions or pseudo medallions, have certain features in common: they were deliberately set apart by structure, style or content—or by two, or by all three, elements combined—from the ordinary current coinage of the Roman state, and they were struck as exceptional issues and intended for special or solemn presentation on important occasions. The application of these criteria will necessarily exclude from the category of medallions much of the material amassed by Gnecchi in the first and third volumes of his corpus. Coins incorrectly classed by Gnecchi as medallions may be grouped under four headings:—(i) ordinary aes coins of the first three centuries which do not bear the letters s c on their reverses; (ii) the double sestertii of Trajan Decius and Etruscilla; (iii) third-century aurei the weight of which is slightly higher than the normal; (iv) gift and festival coins, such as the bronze, or silvered bronze, quinarii issued from the time of Valerian to that of Diocletian, and the silver miliarensia struck from the time of Constantine onwards.

(i) At the end of his third volume Gnecchi has collected a small group of so-called "senatorial medallions," heavy bronze pieces with s c on the reverse, the large majority of which are, in reality, pseudo medallions, coin types struck on medallion flans.1 These pieces excepted, the presence of the letters s c on a given piece invariably spells for Gnecchi "coin," their absence "medallion," with the result that he has forced into the medallion category whole groups of quite common aes coins, on which specifically medallic features, whether of structure, style or content, are all to seek. The appearance, as a general rule, of s c on the regular aes coinage is a question which we shall have to reconsider later in connection with mints.2 But whatever degree of senatorial authority, real or fictitious, over the aes coinage these letters may imply, the evidence of the coins themselves suggests, of course, that the Emperors exercised a direct and continuous influence upon the occasions of aes issues and the choice of aes types. Thus the absence of s c on the common adlocutio coins of Gaius3 probably means no more than a specially personal interest in cash issued in the first instance, it may be, as pay for the imperial Guards.4 In style and weight these pieces are normal sestertii: they are not medallions.

Similarly, specially personal connections with the Emperor would account for the absence of the ordinary formula on the memorial sestertii of Agrippina, with the carpentum and legend s p q r memoriae agrippinae on their reverses,5 and on the common sestertii depicting the oak-wreath offered to the Emperor by the Senate and People of Rome, combined with the legends s p q r p p, or ex s c, ob cives servatos, issued under Gaius, Claudius, Galba, Vitellius, Vespasian and Titus,6 and with the legend s p q r adsertori libertatis pvblicae, issued under Vespasian.7 But the clearest proof of the close association of Emperor and Senate in the matter of the coinage, and of the absence of any fixed principle delimiting their respective spheres, is afforded by Nero's principate. From 54 to 64 the aurei and denarii struck at Rome consistently bear in the field of their reverses the more indirect senatorial formula ex s c;8 and when, c. 64,9 the aes coinage was revived at the mints of Rome and Lugdunum, after having been in abeyance since the last years of Claudius, a considerable proportion of the reverse types were struck either with the letters s c or without them.10 There would seem, then, to be no reason for regarding the Neronian bronze pieces figured on Gnecchi's plates 141 and 142 as anything but normal coins, although they may, as Sydenham suggests, have been issued in the first instance at the Emperor's personal instigation and some of the copper asses without s c show a style of portraiture which is particularly close to that of the aurei and denarii of 60 to 64, as distinct from the style of Nero's later portaits.11 On the worn adlocutio coin of Galba, illustrated by Gnecchi as being without s c,12 these letters may well have been obliterated; and wear, or imperfect striking, would seem to account for their absence on the victoria navalis dupondius of Vespasian.13 The specially personal character of the t et dom c sestertii of Vespasian might explain the substitution there of the less direct ex s c for the ordinary senatorial formula.14 The pieces of Vespasian and Titus with caduceus between crossed cornuacopiae and no s c on their reverses are all of eastern mintage.15 The Vespasianic piece, figured by Gnecchi, with heads of Titus and Domitian on the reverse is now unverifiable.16 And it may be said here, once and for all, that none of the bronze pieces, quoted or illustrated by Gnecchi, which have on their reverses either the head or bust of the reigning Emperor, or of his Empress, or of any other member, or members, of the imperial family, can be classed as medallions merely on the ground that they have no s c, when they are of normal coin weight and are executed in ordinary coin style. On many such pieces with double portraits the s c formula actually occurs: for its absence on others the strictly personal interest of the reverse type offers adequate explanation. The annona avg pieces of Titus, showing Annona standing to left as reverse type, are simply sestertii without s c:17 the coin is a common one and the style shows no specifically medallic traits. Titus, the "darling of mankind," may well have shown a specially personal concern for his people's corn-suppy. The reductio ad absurdum of Gnecchi's s c criterion is seen in his inclusion among medallions of coins of the mines struck under Trajan and Hadrian18 and of common quadrantes without s c of Trajan, Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, whether of Roman or eastern mintage.19 The Hadrianic piece showing on the reverse a decastyle temple with the legends s p q r around and ex s c in the exergue is an ordinary sesteritus,20 a variant of the sestertius with the legends s c in the field and s p q r in the exergue.21 Similarly, we must regard as ordinary sestertii the pieces of Faustina I with the legend ex s c and the types of carpentum drawn by two mules and biga drawn by two elephants on their reverses.22 Finally, the absence of s c on a number of sestertii and asses, figured by Gnecchi, of Tajan,23 Hadian,24 Antoninus Pius,25 Commodus 26 and Caracalla27 can be easily explained by the simple fact of obliteration due to working over or to wear. From the middle of the third century onwards the letters s c are no longer so normally the accompaniment of the reverse type on ordinary asses, while from Gallienus onwards the same is true of ordinary sestertii. We can therefore exclude from the category of medallions a number of pieces illustrated on Gnecchi's plates 154 to 158 (Hostilianus to Maximian) the style and content of which are alike devoid of medallic characteristics.28

(ii) The double sestertii introduced by Trajan Decius, with the legends felicitas saecvli, liberalitas avg and victoria avg corresponding to his own portrait on the obverse and with pvdicitia avg corresponding to the obverse portrait of Etruscilla, all have the formula s c and are classed by Gnecchi among his "senatorial medallions."29 Often quasi-medallic in style and always struck upon thick, heavy flans, these pieces undoubtedly bear an outward and superficial resemblance to true medallions. They are, however, in actual fact mere multiples of ordinary coins, an experiment in the minting of 2-sestertii pieces. Relatively common and confined to a limited repertory of fixed types, they are neither rare and exceptional in content, as are the gold and silver money medallions, nor are they differentiated from ordinary coins by variability in weight or by variety in subject-matter, as are the bronze medallions proper. So far from being set apart in any way from the regular currency of the reign, they form an essential element in it, and are thus automatically excluded from the medallion category under our definition of the term.

(iii) Apart from two barbaric aurei inexplicably included among the gold medallions,30 Gnecchi classes as medallions a number of third-century aurei the weight of which is slightly higher than the normal, and which, since they show no specifically medallic traits and are not multiples of the unitary standard, should be more accurately described as heavy coins. Such are the gold pieces of Elagabalus weighing under eight grammes,31 that of Valerian weighing only 5.3 grammes,32 those of Saloninus,33 Severina34 and Tacitus35 weighing under seven grammes and those of Diocletian weighing less than six grammes.36

(iv) In his first and third volumes Gnecchi includes as medallions a number of gift or festival coins, which are, like the double sestertii of Trajan Decius, only outwrardly and superficially medallic in character. The bronze, or silvered bronze, quinarii, described by Gnecchi as "modulo minimo" and ranging from the reign of Valerian to that of Diocletian,37 are, indeed, often distinctively medallic both in content and execution. In the case of the silver miliarensia, first issued by Constantine the Great,38 the types are either identical, or closely connected, with those of their comparatively rare silver multiples, or money medallions, where such corresponding multiples exist; and while there are many miliarensia for which no corresponding multiples are known and a certain number of multiples for which we have no corresponding miliarensia, such combinations as we do possess definitely suggest that the miliarensia formed part of the same series as the multiples and were issued for the same occasions. But the fact that both quinarii and miliarensia were issued in large quantities as normal denominations indicates that they were distributed en masse as actual money gifts, not specially or solemnly presented, after the manner of medallions, as souvenirs to a restricted circle of persons of high status. Thus both have their place inside the ordinary currency. Under the later Empire the distribution of large quantities of cash at festivals and on special occasions, whether as pay for the troops or as doles for the people, came to be one of the normal processes of putting new coinage into circulation; and the true kinship of the quinarii and miliarensia is, not with medallions, but with such series as the Isis-festival coins issued for the imperial vota publica on January 3. These series have been fully discussed elsewhere.39 Here it is sufficient to note that all such Isis coins are, in a sense, medallic in content, in so far as their types contain references of a highly specialized and restricted kind; while on some individual specimens medallic content is balanced by at least quasi-medallic style.40

End Notes
1 Vide supra p. 25, note 28.
2 Vide infra pp. 45 ff.
3 G III, tav. 141, no. 1.
4 Dio (59, 2, 1) says that Gaius on his accession not only distributed to the praetorians the sum bequeathed to them by his predecessor, but established another precedent by adding as much more on his own account:— χαì έτέρας τοσαύτας(sc. δραχμάς) προσεπέδωχε. Were his non-s c sestertii struck for this purpose?
5 G III, tav. 141, no. 3.
6 G III, taw. 141, nos. 2, 4; 142, nos. 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13.
7 G III, tav. 142, no. 12. Cf. the sestertius commemorating the gift of a ceremonial shield by the ordo equester to the young Nero (G III, tav. 141, no. 9).
8 BMCCRE I, pp. 200-207.
9 BMCCRE, I, pp. clxviii-clxx.
10 E. g. adlocutio, Annona and Ceres, decursio, Market (mac avg), Victory advancing to left, imperial Genius (genio avgvsti), Nero as Apollo, agonistic table, etc. (certamen qvinq romae con), emblems of Minerva. The Neronian pieces without s c are, however, rare as compared with those with s c.
11 E. A. Sydenham, The Coinage of Nero, pp. 38, 76, 103.
12 G III, tav. 142, no. 5.
13 G III, tav. 143, no. 2.
14 G III, tav. 142, no. 14.
15 G III, tav. 143, nos. 1, 3. Cf. RIC II, pp. 109-112.
16 G III, tav. 143, no. 5.
17 G III, tav. 143, no. 6.
18 G III, tav. 144, nos. 1, 2, 3; 148, nos. 6, 7, 8.
19 G III, tav. 148, nos. 1-5; 149, no. 9.
20 G III, tav. 145, no. 11. Cf. BMCCRE III, p. 476, note to no. 1554.
21 RIC II, pl. 15, no. 318.
22 G III, tav. 149, nos. 14, 15.
23 G III, tav. 143, nos. 9, 13.
24 G III, tav. 144, nos. 4, 5, 13; 147, no. 5.
25 G III, tav. 148, no. 11.
26 G III, tav. 151, nos. 11, 12, 13; 152, no. 1.
27 G III, tav. 152, no. 9.
28 G III, tav. 154, nos. 4, 6, 7, 11, 20; 155, nos. 13, 14, 15, 16, 18; 156, nos. 1, 7-11, 12, 13, 16; 157, nos. 7 10, 12, 13; 158, nos. 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 21, 22, 23. The sestertii of Postumus, although somewhat medallic in character, cannot be regarded as other than current coins.
29 G III, tav. 161, nos. 1-5.
30 G I, tav. 2, nos. 1, 5.
31 G I, tav. 1, no. 8.
32 G I, p. 6, no. 1. The weight given by Gnecchi (5.6 grammes) is inexact.
33 G I, p. 8 no. 1.
34 G I, p. 9, no. 1.
35 G I, p. 9, no. 1.
36 G I, tav. 4, no. 11.
37 G III, pp. 51-86 (passim, tavv. 155-158 (passim).
38 G I, pp. 57-84 (passim), tavv. 28-37 (passim).
39 A. Alföldi, A Festival of Isis in Rome under the Christian Emperors of the Fourth Century.
40 E. g. ibid, pis. 2, nos. 16-21; 19, no. 29.

II. Medallic Coins.

Medallic coins are here defined as coins of normal, or slightly supra-normal, weight and size, showing normal reverse types, but with obverse portraits which are either distinctively medallic in style or struck from definite medallion dies. Such pieces cannot be classed as medallions. They are not, with a very few exceptions, set apart structurally from the regular currency, as are the pseudo medallions, nor are they differentiated from ordinary coins, as are the bronze medallions proper, by medallic style in both obverse and reverse types and by the content of the reverse design. Moreover, such combinations of medallion obverse with coin reverse are extremely spasmodic and rare. In fact, in these isolated instances of medallion obverse dies applied to common coins we seem to encounter genuine "freaks" or, at the most, experiments in imparting to normal pieces a medallic aspect without lifting them out of the category of current coinage of the realm; and the same idea would appear to lie behind coins the obverses of which are executed in true medallion style, but for which specific known medallion dies have not been employed.41 Two fine exampess of Hadrianic medallic coins, one in the Ryan Collecion,42 the other formerly in the Trau Collecion,43 have the regular pax avg s c sestertius reverse, while the obverse is struck from a large bronze medallion die.44 A sestertius of Antoninus Pius in Berlin has the normal Annona reverse of 139,45 but the obverse is struck from a medallion die used for several large bronze medallions issued during the first year of his principate.46 A sestertius of Lucius Verus, formerly in the Vierordt Collection, has a fine medallic obverse portrait and a reverse type (concord avgvstor) shared by medallions and coins.47 Berlin also possesses two small bronze pieces of Gordian III (measuring 28 mm. in diameter and weighing 10.81 and 10.55 grammes respectively) with ordinary reverse types, Apollo seated, with branch and lyre, and Fortuna seated, with legend fortvna redvx s c; on both the obverse portrait, executed in high relief and in medallic style, is struck from a small bronze medallion die of the Emperor.48 In the Lawrence Collection there is a bi-metaliic as of Philip I with obverse struck from a small medallion die49 and a coin reverse type—Liberaitass standing, with legend liberalitas avg u s c; the use of two metals shows that this piece was structurally differentiated from a coin and was not struck for ordinary circulation. A series of asses of Aurelian, struck at Milan (?), affords an interesting example of medallic coins with ordinary coin reverse types and obverses which, without being struck from known medallion dies, are quite distinctively medallic in character. These all bear on the obverse a portrait,

not of Aurelian, but of Sol (or Sol-Aurelian?) with the legend sol dominvs imperi romani and showing his bust either bare-headed to right50 or radiate to right, with four horses to right below,51 or radiate to front, with four horses below, two to right and two to left.52 The reverses are executed in common coin style: they bear the legend avrelianvs avg cons (ecravit?) and show the Emperor sacrificing at a tripod, either laureate, wearing military dress and holding a long transverse spear, or veiled and togate and holding either a short sceptre or a scroll. But the high relief of the obverse portrait, and the substitution of the bust and legend of the god for the portrait of the Emperor and the imperial titles, serve to distinguish these pieces from ordinary coins. It is, indeed, hard to decide in the case of this Aurelianic series whether we are dealing with medallic coins or with small bronze medallions proper, commemorating, it would appear, no less momentous an event than the institution of the worship of Sol Invictus as an official cult of the Roman state. The plain coin style of the reverses inclines us, on the whole, to assign them to the former category.53

End Notes
41 E. g. (1) sesteritus of Trajan with reverse type of Spes and on the obverse a remarkable deep bust of Trajan in high relief, with upper arm bare and aegis (Strack I, Taf. 7, Nr. 403) (Pl. XX. 10); (2) as of Alexander Severus in the Hall Collection, Llanymynech, with reverse legend aeqvitas and obverse portrait in very high relief.
42 Diameter = 35 mm., weight = 28.18 grammes.
43 Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 17, Nr. 1267. Diameter = 33 mm. (weight not given). Pl. I, 4.
44 G II, tav. 42, nos. 3, 4.
45 Strack III, Taf. 8, Nr. 751. Pl. I, 5.
46 G II, tavv. 46, no. 8; 48, no. 5; 55, no. 1.
47 Vierordt Collection Sale Catalogue 1923, pl. 38, no. 1675. Pl. I, 6.
48 G III, tav. 153, nos. 13, 15.
49 G III, tav. 153, no. 16.

III. Border-line Pieces.

Since the Roman imperial coinage does not, of its very nature, admit of a precise delimitation of frontier between coin and medallion, we have to reckon with a number of border-line cases, pieces the majority of which, in the present writers opinion, approach more nearly to medallions than to coins and can with justice be claimed as belonging to the former category, while they remain classifiable as coins from certain points of view. For instance, some Hadrianic and Antonine bronze pieces without s c, classed here as small medallions proper in virtue of the special character of their content and their rarity, combined with a decidedly more, rather than less, medallic style, have been included, on structural grounds, as ordinary sestertii in The Roman Imperial Coinage and in the Catalogue of Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. The following exampess may be cited. The romvlo conditori pieces of Hadrian, struck between 134 and 138, are of sestertius weight and display a fairly common aureus and denarius type of that time; but they are known from only two examples, each with a different obverse, are medallic in style on both sides and suggest the application of a regular gold and silver coin type to bronze for the purpose of special presentation.54 The iovi/optimo/maximo/s p q r in the oak-wreath pieces of Hadrian are sestertii as regards diameter and weight; but these again are known from only two specimens, each again with different obverse portraits, and both on obverse and reverse they are quite decisively medallic in style.55 The s p q r/anff/hadriano/avg p p in an oak-wreath piece in Paris 56 has the weight and diameter of a small sestertius and repeats a type combined with s c on a sestertius in the Ryan Collection;57 but the Ryan piece has a quite different obverse legend and portrait and is executed in common coin style, whereas the Paris piece is in medallic style and is obviously a smaller edition of the large bronze medallion proper with this type in the Gnecchi Collection in Rome.58 The Antonine piece, formerly in the Evans, now in the Ryan, Collecton with s p q r/an f f / optimo / principi / pio in an oak-wreath59 is again a smaller edition, of sestertius weight and size, of two large medallions proper in Paris (same obverse portrait) and Florence (different obverse portrait) respectively.60 Finally, the s p q r / amplia / tori / civivm in an oak-wreath type of Antoninus Pius is stated to have been "struck certainly as an ordinary sestertius" on the strength of a British Museum cast;61 but the two other known specimens of this reverse type are large bronze medallions proper.62

After Antoninus Pius sestertius-size medallions are rare; while the still smaller bronze medallions are, down to Gallienus, easily distinguishable on the whole from ordinary coins and afford few examples of border-line pieces. But from Gallienus down to the Diocletianic Tetrarchy we are confronted with a number of bronze pieces classifiable, roughly, as asses in size and weight, but of a style and content which suggest that they are "strikes" from small gold and silver medallion dies, issued either as "proofs" or trial pieces, or as presentation pieces for individuass of lower standing than the recipients of the precious metals. A large proportion of these bronze "strikes" belong to the reign of Gallienus himself. The legend votis / decenna / libvs in a laurel-wreath occurs on the reverse of ordinary asses of the reign; but the type also appears on two medallic bronze pieces, with a different obverse legend from that of the coins, in Rome (Gnecchi Collection) and the British Museum respectively, both of which may well be replicas of a gold original.63 Two bronze pieces, one in Berlin, the other in the Vatican, struck in honor of the consular procession of January, 264, show a decidedly medallic obverse, a deep bust of the Emperor to left, wearing consular dress, with the legend gallienvm avg senatvs, while the reverse depicts Gallienus in a slow quadriga to left, holding an eagle-topped sceptre.64 Paris possesses a bronze "strike" from the small gold medallion, in the same collection, with reverse legend p m tr p ii cos III [sic] p p and a scene of imperial sacrifice as reverse type.65 The collections at Vienna and Bologna each possess a bronze "strike" from the dies of a well-known gold medallion with reverse legend virt gallieni avg and the type of Hercules standing to front with club, lion's-skin and branch;66 and there exist a number of similar bronze pieces, distributed over several collections, with the reverse type and legend of fides militvm,67 which may possibly be "strikes" from other variants of the known gold medallions with this legend and device68 Gnecchi rightly identifies as a bronze "prova" of a lost gold medallion an interesting piece in Rome (Gnecchi Collection) with the obverse legend conserva-tori orbis and the head of Gallienus, crowned with reeds, to left and on the reverse vbiqve pax, with Victory in a swift biga to right.69 R. Mowat also sees a "strike" from gold dies in the small bronze piece in Vienna with reverse alacritati and Pegasus springing to right and with obverse portrait identical with that on the small gold Hercules medallions, mentioned above.70 In Vienna, again, we find a bronze copy71 of the billon medallion ob reddit libert;72 and Berlin possesses a small bronze piece with germanicvs maximvs and a trophy between two seated captives on the reverse:73 this legend and type do not occur elsewhere on the aes of the reign, but are found on antoniniani, and our piece may be a "strike" from the dies of a small billon medallion. Passing on to the Gallic Empire, there is an interesting piece of Tetricus I in Paris,74 described by A. Blanchet as a copy of a lost gold medallion:75 the obverse shows a radiate bust of Tetricus to left, holding a richly decorated round shield, while the reverse depicts the Emperor standing to left in pontifical dress, sceptre in hand, and sacrificing over a tripod. Under Probus the fides militvm type and legend appear again on a number of bronze pieces76 possibly representing two variants of the extant gold medallion.77 A fine piece of Probus in Rome (Gnecchi Collection) shows a trophy between two captives on the reverse and on the obverse an indubitably medallic portrait, suggesting a gold medallion as original—a deep radiate bust of the Emperor to left, leading a horse by the bridle and holding a spear and a round, decorated shield.78

Under the Diocletianic Tetrarchy our series of bronze "strikes" or copies continues. Diocletian is represented by a piece in the Laffranchi Collection in Milan, well preserved and with a reverse executed in so uncommonly fine a style that it might well be mistaken in reproduction for a gold piece; the reverse bears the legend iovi conservat and a complex design—on the right Juppiter standing to left, naked and holding sceptre and thunderbolt, on the left the Emperor standing to right in military dress, sacrificing over a tripod and holding a long sceptre, while Victory stands behind him and places a wreath upon his head.79 A worn as-size piece of Maximian in Berlin, with a large medallic head of the Emperor, wearing a lion’s-skin, on the obverse and on the reverse hercvli victori and Hercules seated to front with club, lion's-skin, quiver and bow,80 may possibly be a "strike" from gold dies, or, more probably, a small edition of a large bronze medallion proper.81 Finally, we have a series of five vota publica pieces issued in the names of all four Emperors, each unique and, as a group, outstanding among the common Isis-festival coins to which in content they belong, copies, it may be, of gold pieces struck on the same occasion but for presentation to specially favored persons. The reverses bear the legend vota pvblica and the type either of Neptune and Isis standing confronted or of Isis and Serapis on board ship; the obverses show deep busts of the Emperors, either radiate, with paludamentum and sceptre or with cuirass, aegis, spear, two javelins and shield, or laureate, with consular dress, branch and scroll.82

One of our most difficult border-line problems is presented by a series of bronze pieces of Gallienus, bearing on the obverse the legend genivs p r and the radiate head of Gallienus, crowned by a modius, or turret, to right and on the reverse either a large s c in a laurel-wreath83 or int / s c / vrb in a laure-wreath. 84 It has been suggested that these pieces were issued towards the end of Gallienus’ reign on his return to Rome from the East, when he was saluted as "Genius Populi Romani," int vrb standing for "intrat (or "intravit") urbem."85 The large quantities in which these pieces—especially those with the int vrb reverse legend—were issued seem to indicate that they were gift sestertii and dupondii, having their place in the regular currency and comparable with the bronze, or silvered bronze, quinarii, the silver miliarensia and the Isis-festival coins. On the other hand, whereas these issues played their part in the state coinage over a period extending for many years, the genivs p r pieces were clearly a very special issue struck for one single occasion and commemorating a single event. Moreover, the very peculiar type of obverse, showing the Emperor under the guise of the Genius and without mention of the imperial name and titles, would appear to exclude these pieces from the category of current coins of the realm. Medallic, too, are the high relief of the majority of the obverse portraits and the careful, finished style. All things considered, one might regard the pieces of this series as medallions, issued in unusually large numbers for presentation to a wide range of individuals, perhaps to all court officials, senators and knights, as a personal acknowledgment by the Emperor of the welcome accorded to him on his entry into Rome.

The large bronze pieces issued under emperors of the fourth century, from Julian onwards, with mint-marks in the exergue, form our last series of bronze border-line cases. The presence of the mint-marks and the style, generally speaking, of many of the reverse designs would justify the classification of such pieces as large coins. On the other hand, the relatively small number of known examples of any given type and the fact that certain of the types themselves, e. g. the Tres Monetae, are regular medallion types, make it also possible to regard them as medallions. Examples of these indeterminate pieces are those with the legends virtvs caesaris 86 and moneta avg 87 of Julian, victoria romanorvm,88 moneta avg 89 and victoria avgvsti n 90 of Jovian, reparatio fel temp of Procopius,91 restitvtor reipvblicae 92 and moneta avggg 93 of Valentinian I, restitvtor reipvblicae,94 moneta avgg or avggg,95 vrbs roma 96 and victoria avggg 97 of Valens, and restitvtor reipvblicae,98 vrbs roma 99 and victoria avgvstorvm 100 of Gratian. Some of these mint-marked pieces, such as the reparatio fel temp / s m k a piece of Procopius at Milan, and the bronze pieces of Julian, Jovian, Valentinian I, Valens and Gratian with the Roman mint-mark, are decidedly more medallic than others; and in view of the close correspondence which we often find in style, content and structure between the pieces which bear mint-marks and others which do not, any kind of hard-and-fast distinction between the former as coins and the latter as medallions would certainly be exposed to criticism as being a conventional and arbitrary one. On the whole it is best to admit that we cannot really decide whether we are dealing here with presentation pieces or with rare and outstanding coins.

As regards the precious metals, there are a number of pieces, both in gold and silver, medallic in style and type and structurally slightly heavier than the contemporary normal coin denominations, which lie on the border-line between coins and medallions. Three silver pieces of Trajan Decius, one weighing 3.9 grammes, with heads of Herennius and Hostilianus on the reverse,101 the other two weighing 5.2 and 4.5 grammes, with busts of Etruscilla, Herennius and Hostilianus on the revese,102 and one piece of Herennius weighing 4 grammes, with a tetrastyle temple as reverse type,103 all show medallic style; their weight, however, is no criterion, since Decius' antoniniani range from 2.36 to 7.9 grammes.104 During the latter half of the third century we meet with gold pieces weighing from 7 + to 9 + grammes, that is to say intermediate in weight between a single normal aureus and two aurei, which might be described either as abnormally heavy coins or as small medallions. Such are four pieces of Aurelian with the legends adventvs avg,105 virtvs avg 106 and concordia avg 107 and fourteen pieces of Probus with the following legends:—adlocvtio avg,108 adventvs avg,109 hercvli herimanthio,110 soli invicto comiti avg,111 fides militvm,112 temp felicitas,113 romae aeternae,114 secvritas saecvli 115 and victoriae avgvsti.116 Of these pieces seven examples (one unverifiable) of the adventus type of Auelian,117 two of the adlocutio type of Probus and three of the temp felicitas type of Probus are recorded by Gnecchi. a fourth example of the last piece is in Copenhagen 118 and four examples of the Sol type of Probus are known to the present writer. But the other eight pieces are each known from only one (now verifiable) specimen. Such rarity, combined with the notably high relief and exquisite technique of the majority of extant specimens, would seem to substantiate quite decisively their claim to be money medallions, struck more or less to the standard of one aureus and a half and precursors of the fourth century series of 1½-solidi medallions inaugurated by Constantine I.

Less certain is the status of a few silver pieces issued in the names of Licinius I, Constantine I, Crispus and Constantine II. These pieces might be reckoned as heavy miliarensia, which we have, as a class, already relegated to the category of current coins. But their outstandingly medallic style, the unusual interest of their content and, in several cases, size and weight somewhat exceeding that of the average heavy miliarensia, all produce the impression that they were special issues, struck, perhaps, as multiples of siliquae, set apart from the common coinage for some special purpoe.119 One reverse type, common to all four imperial persons, was struck in commemoration of the vicennalia of Constantine I, celebrated from 325 to 326. It bears the circumference legend vota orbis et vrbis sen et p r and shows a circular cippus (or milestone?) set on a square basis. The pieces of Constantine I120 and Constantine II121 have XX / xxx / avg inscribed on the cippus and a star in the field on either side of it; those of Licinius I122 and Crispus123 have xx / xxx / mvl / fel inscribed on the cippus and an L in the field to the left of it, while a kind of fire, or flaming brazier, rests on the top of the cippus. The obverse portraits are all distinctive. Those of Licinius I and Constantine I show the bust of the Emperor to left, wearing an elaborate crested helmet and cuirass and holding a spear and round shield; but there is also a variant of Constantine I with obverse bust radiate to left, wearing a cuirass and holding a spear.124 The busts of Crispus and Constantine II are shown radiate to left, wearing paludamentum and cuirass, with a globe held in the left hand and the right hand raised. All specimens so far known bear the mint-mark of Aquileia, with the exception of a variant of Crispus which was struck at Siscia and shows two stars, instead of an L, in the field of the reverse.125 Each type or variant is known from one example only. The pieces vary in diameter from 25 mm. to 27 mm. and in weight from 4.95 grammes to 6.32 grammes, but were originally heavier, as all are pierced by a hole. Another remarkable silver piece of Constantine I, known from two examples in Vienna (24 mm., 5.56 grammes, pierced by a hole) and Leningrad (24 mm., 6.65 grammes) respectively,126 shows on the obverse the bust of the Emperor seen almost full-face, wearing a crested helmet, holding a horse by the bridle and carrying sceptre and round shield.127 The reveise contains a complicated design—the Emperor, accompanied by his Praetorian Prefect, standing on a platform between two signa and addressing a crowd of soldiers, accompanied by horses, below. A fine piece of Crispus in Berlin, found at Cologne, has on the obverse an exceptionally deep bust of the prince, wearing paludamentum and cuirass and holding a spear and a globe surmounted by a Victory; the reverse bears the legend moneta avgg et caess nn and the type of the Tres Monetae.128 The piece was struck at Aquileia and may have been presented to Crispus on the occasion of a visit to the local mint (in 321?).128a It measures 25 mm. in diameter, weighs 6.54 grammes and is pierced by a hole. The obverse shows a remarkably close resemblance to that of a large gold medallion of Licinius II in Paris, also struck at Aquileia.129 Lastly, there is a piece of Constantine II in Vienna, struck in Rome, with an ordinary obverse portrait and a reverse type—three signa—which appears not infrequently upon normal miliarensia of the later Emperors.130 But the execution is particularly careful, the diameter measures 26 mm. and the weight, 6.04 grammes, is, in view of the fact that the flan is pierced by a hole, exceptionally high. After Constantine II these outstanding pieces no longer occur; and we may regard them as experiments made in the early days after the new denominations were introduced.131

Our final group of border-line cases consists of a series of gold pieces ranging in date from the time of Constantine I to that of Arcadius, weighing 5+ grammes, that is to say, struck, not on the standard of the contemporary solidus of one seventy-second of a pound, but on the basis of the old Diocletianic aureus of one sixtieth of a pound. Being only slightly larger and heavier than the normal solidi these pieces obviously could, and no doubt did, pass into use as current money. But this revival of an obsolete coin standard can only mean that, at the time of their issue, they were deliberately differentiated from the ordinary currency to serve a particular end. Content, style and rarity all point to the same conclusion. Of the forty specimens known to the present writer, thirty-one display reverse designs of a type which proves beyond question that they were intended for "Fest-aurei," commemorative pieces distributed as presents on special occasions. Fifteen of these pieces—six of Constantine I,132 four of Constantius II,133 one of Constans,134 one of Valentinian I,135 two of Valentinian II136 and one of Eugenius137—show the Emperor standing in a frontal chariot holding in his left hand a sceptre (or, in one case, that of Valentinian I, a globe surmounted by a Victory) and with his right hand either raised in greeting (as on three of the six specimens of Constantine I) or scattering a shower of coins. The occasion must, in this case, have been an imperial largitio and the "Fest-aurei" presents for certain favored individuals in memory of the event. Again, sixteen pieces allude in various ways to imperial vota, occasions which were, as we shall see later, prolific in the issue both of gold and silver money medallions and, to a lesser extent, of bronze medallions proper.138 Nine specimens show vota inscriptions in a wreath;139 four show one Victory,140 two show two Victories,141 holding up a wreath encircling a vota inscription; while one shows three Emperors enthroned to front with vot v inscribed upon the central Emperor’s footstool.142 The other nine pieces have less distinctivey occasional types. Three of Constantius II show the Emperor walking to the right and holding a spear and a trophy, while a captive is seated on either side of him.143 Two pieces, one of Gratian144 and the other of Arcadius,145 show a Victory advancing towards the left and holding a wreath and a palm. The remaining four are unique specimens—Sol standing to left, 146 Sol crowning the Emperor,147 Victoria and Libertas148 and the Emperor standing, holding a labarum and a globe surmounted by Victory and spurning a captive with his foot.149 Thus content, style and, in some cases, rarity combine with abnormal weight to push this group of "Fest-aurei" more than half over the border-line onto the side of medallions.

End Notes
128a Cf. Ulrich-Bansa, op. cit., p. 21.
50 G III, tav. 156, nos. 3, 4.
51 RICV, i. p. 301, no. 320. Pl. I, 7.
52 G III, tav. 156, nos. 5, 6.
53 The term "medallic coin" is not used here to include that very considerable number of coins the obvere portraits of which, although struck from ordinary coin dies, show specially fine and careful style.
54 Rome (Gnecchi), Vienna. G III, tav. 145, no. 7. RIC II, p. 439, no. 776 gives a sesteritus with this type and s c; but no such sestertius is mentioned by Strack or in BMCCRE: the bronze piece mentioned in BMCCRE III, p. 442, no. † as being in the Ashmolean Collection is the core of a plated denarius.
55 Paris, Rome (Gnecchi Collection). G III, tav. 145, nos. 4, 5; BMCCRE III, pl. 84, no. 1.
56 BMCCRE III, pl. 84, no. 2. Pl. I, 8.
57 BMCCRE III, pl. 89, no. 3.
58 G II, tav. 40, no. 4.
59 Evans Collection Sale Catalogue 1934, pl. 43, no. 1449. Pl. I, 9.
60 G II, tav. 48, no. 4 (Florence medallion quoted (p. 14, no. 44) with wrong obverse).
61 RIC III, p. 119, no. 721.
62 Paris, Florence. G II, tav. 48, no. 3.
63 G III, tav. 155, no. 3; RIC V, i, pl. 11, no. 168.
64 G III, p. 55, no. 67; ZN 1930, Taf. I, nos. 4, 5 (PL XIV, 5, 6).
65 G I, tav. 3, no. 1; R. Mowat, Contributions à la numismatique de Gallien" (Recueil de Mémoires publiés par la Société Nationale des Antiquaires de France à l’occasion de son centenaire 1804-1904, p. 318, pl. 17, nos. 4, 5).
66 G I, tav. 3, nos. 3, 4.
67 G III, tav. 154, no. 18.
68 G I, tav. 2, nos. 8, 10, 11.
69 G I, tav. 3, no. 2.
70 R. Mowat, op. cit., pp. 317, 318, pl. 17, no. 3. Pl. II, 1.
71 Nr. 19981. ZN 1930, Taf. 1, Nr. 2 (wrongly described as billon on S. 2, Nr. 4).
72 G I, tav. 27, no. 5.
73 Unpublished. Pl. II, 2.
74 No. 78616. Pl. II, 3.
75 Revue française de numismatique 1896, p. 231.
76 G III, tav. 157, nos. 8, 9. An example of this type set in a contemporary frame was seen in trade by the present writer in June, 1939.
77 G I, tav. 3, no. 17.
78 G III, tav. 157, no. 11. It is almost impossible to decide whether the pieces figured on tav. 157, nos. 10, 12, 13 are to be regarded as "fine style" asses or as "strikes" from lost gold medallion dies.
79 G III, tav. 158, no. 8.
80 G III, tav. 158, no. 20.
81 Cf. two large bronze medallions with similar reverse type in Rome and Munich respectively (G II, tav. 126, no. 4).
82 G III, tav. 158, nos. 11 (Diocletian), 24 (wrongly ascribed to Maximian, instead of to Galerius), 30 (Constantius Chlorus); A. Alföldi, op. cit., pl. 1, nos. 1 (Diocletian), 2 (Maximian). Vide infra p. 78.
83 G III, tav. 161, no. 6.
84 RIC V, i. pl. 9, no. 139. Pl. II, 4.
85 CAH xii p. 189; RM 1934, S. 90 f. This interpretation of the reverse legend would seem to weight the balance in favor of identifying the object worn on the obvesse head as a turret, rather than as a modius. Gallienus enters the city as her protector and is thus symbolically turreted. The object is certainly worn in the position occuped by a modius when affected as head-gear; and it is not the usual mural crown, which encircles the head. On the other hand its details most definitely suggest masonry walls and towers. The only earlier representation of the turreted Genius Populi Romani known to the present writer is that on the Severan Porta Argentariorum at Rome (PBSR, Suppl. Paper, 1939, p. 34, fig. 19). The mural crown next appears as an attribute of the Genius Populi Romani on the genio pop rom Gallic coins of Maximian (Maurice I, pl. 2, no. 12).
86 G II, tav. 139, no. 10.
87 G II, tav. 139, no. 7.
88 Jovian standing to left in military dress, with labarum and Victory (known exampess are fairly numerous: e. g. piece in Budapest). Pl. II, 5.
89 G II, tav. 139, nos. 11, 12.
90 G II, p. 157, no. 4.
91 G II, tav. 140, no. 6.
92 Weber Collection Sale Catalogue 1909, Taf. 51, Nr. 2723.
93 Vienna: Nr. 46694.
94 Valens standing to front in military dress with vexillum and Victory (known exampess are fairly numerous).
95 G II, tav. 140, no. 4.
96 In Dresden (Pl. XXXV, 9).
97 Victory advancing to left, holding wreath and palm (Padua, Bansa Collection).
98 G II, p. 158, no. 1 (Pl. XXXII, 6).
99 G II, tav. 140, nos. 7, 8.
100 G II, tav. 140, no. 9.
101 G I, tav. 24, no. 10: Rome (Gnecchi).
102 G I, tav. 24, no. 11: Berlin, Paris.
103 G I, tav. 24, no. 12: Paris.
104 NC 1939, p. 40 (Dorchester Hoard). Contrast the silver piece of Julia Mamaea with busts of Alexander Severus and Orbiana on the reverse, weighing 5.4 grammes, which seems to be a genuine example of a double denarius or money medalionn (G I, tav. 23, no. 5; vide infra p. 148).
105 G I, tav. 3, nos. 9, 10, 11.
106 G I, tav. 3, no. 13.
107 G I, tav. 3, no. 12.
108 G I, tav. 3, no. 16.
109 Gotha: Probus on horseback to left. Pl. II, 6.
110 G I, tav. 4, no. 1.
111 Variant (1) in Berlin, B. M. and formerly in the Weber Collection (Weber Collection Sale Catalogue 1909, Taf. 40, Nr. 2414). (2) Variant in Jameson Collection, Paris (Jameson Collection Catalogue III, pl. 22, no. 467). Pl. II, 7, 8.
112 G I, tav. 3, no. 17.
113 G I, tav. 4, no. 2; p. 10, no. 7 (formerly in Paris). Pl. n, 9.
114 Vienna. Pl. n, 10.
115 G I, p. 10, no. 5.
116 G I, tav. 4, no. 3.
117 Pl. XLVII, 2.
118 Ramus Cat. No. 282A. Pl. II, 11.
119 These pieces were, moreover, with one possible exception, all struck before the regular issue of heavy miliarensia began c. 330 (vide infra p. 168).
120 G I, tav. 29, no. 5.
121 Ulrich-Bansa, Note sulla zeccha di Aquileia romana, tav. 2, no. 11. Pl. II, 12.
122 G I, tav. 28, no. 8.
123 Ulrich-Bansa, op. cit., tav. 2, no. 10. Pl. II, 13.
124 Ibid., tav. 2, no. 8. Pl. II, 14.
125 Found at Aquileia and now in the local museum.
126 G I, tav. 29, no. 3; ZN 1930, Taf. 3, Nr. 18.
127 Vide infra pp. 177, 211. Alföldi (Pisciculi Franz Joseph Döger dargeboten, 1939, S. 4 ff.) dates this piece to c. 315.
128 G I, tav. 29, no. 11.
129 G I, tav. 6, no. 6 (Pl. XLVII, 5). Also struck in 321, for Licinius II’s quinquennalia? Cf. Ulrich-Bansa, op. cit., pp. 19 f.
130 G I, tav. 29, no. 15. An allusion to the Sarmatian victories of 332?
131 It is possible that we should also include in this series a piece of Constantine I in Rome (Gnecchi) with votis / xxx in a laurel-wreath as reverse type (G I, tav. 29, no. 7). It is 23 mm. in diameter and weighs 5.8 grammes, but the original weight must have been over 6 grammes as a portion of the flan has been broken away. Both obverse and reverse types are identical with those of a "Fest-aureus" of Constantine I (vide infra p. 40) note 139.
132 Rome: 1, Copenhagen: 1, Turin, Mazzini Collection: 1, Vienna: 3. The Copenhgenn piece weighs only 4.93 grammes, but this must be due to wear. G I, tav. 8, nos. 7, 9; Kubitschek Taf. 14, Nrr. 251, 252 (mint-mark cons). Pl. II, 15, 16.
133 Paris (no. 43): 1, Paris, Jameson Collection: 1, B. M. (mint-mark smant): 1, Leningrad (mint-mark smant): 1. Jameson Collection Catalogue IV, pl. 26, no. 534. Pl. II, 17.
134 Paris no. 1574. Maurice I, pl. 15, no. 4. Pl. III, 1.
135 B. M. Pl. III, 2.
136 Formerly Paris: 1, formerly Trau Collection: 1. Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 52, Nr. 4572. Pl. III, 3.
137 NZ 1936, S. 36. Seen at a Yugoslav dealer’s in 1936.
138 Vide infra pp. 79 ff.
139 Constaninee I: 7 (votis / xxx in wreath: G III, tav. di. suppl. no. 11; Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 44, Nr. 3889. Pl. III, 4.); Constantine II: 1 (votis / x in wreath: Vienna; Kubttschek Taf. 15, Nr. 273. Pl. III, 5.); Magnentius: 1 (vot / v / mvlt/ / x in wreath: Vienna: G I, tav. 14, no. 3).
140 Constantine I: 3 (B. M. Vienna, formerly in Trau Collection: G I, tav. 8, no. 5); Constans: 1 (Paris, Beistegui Collection: J. Babelon, La collection de monnaies et médaillies de M. Carlos de Beistegui, pl. 13, no. 236. Pl. III, 6.).
141 Constantius II: 1 (B. M.: G I, p. 32, no. 42); Constans: 1 (Paris: G I, tav. 10, no. 1).
142 Constans (Paris, Jameson Collection: Jameson Collection Catalogue III, pl. 23, no. 482. Pl. III, 7.).
143 One in Vienna and two formerly in Paris: G I, p. 33, nos. 49, 50 (RN 1906, pl. 9, no. 16).
144 Vienna. Pl. III, 8.
145 Tolstoi, Monnaies byzantines, pl. 1, no. 2. Pl. III, 9.
146 Constantine I (Vienna: G I, tav. 8, no. 2).
147 Constantine II (Paris: G I, tav. 9, no. 5. The diameter of this piece (22 mm.) is that of a "Fest-aureus" and the weight (7.63 grammes), were the ring subtracted, would be 5 + grammes).
148 Magnentius (Mϋnzhandlung Basel Sale Catalogue March 18, 1936, Taf. 26, Nr. 2041 (Pl. VI, 7).
149 Valens (Gotha). Pl. III, 10.



Roman medallions, being public and official issues controlled by the state, have, as we should expect, the same mint history, generally speaking, as the regular coinage. After the death of Commodus Rome lost that undisputed monopoly of the strictly imperial currency which had been hers since Flavian times; and during the first half of the third century provincial mints were striking, almost exclusively in the precious metals, at Lugdunum, Antioch, Alexandria, Laodicea ad Mare, Emesa (?), Nicomedia and Viminacium (?).1 But emergency, or at least political convenience, were still regarded as the raison d’être of such provincial mintings; Rome still remained the mint par excellence for imperial aes; and from Domitian down to Gallienus medallions, in their capacity as presentation pieces for special or solemn occasions, whether bronze medallions proper, large or small, or money medallions,2 were normally issued from the centre of the Empire, at the Roman mint. Thus for the first two and a half centuries of imperial history Rome is the only mint-city with which the student of medallions is concerned. How was the Roman mint organized and by what authorities was it controlled? Such questions have, obviously, an immediate bearing upon our subject, particularly upon that well-known characteristic of the vast majority of bronze medallions proper, to which we have already referred,3 namely the absence of the letters s c from their reverses. We have now to consider what the presence of these letters, and, conversely, their absence, really signify. According to the most familiar, and hitherto most widely accepted, view,4 the imperial coinage was, until the time of Gallienus, controlled by a "dyarchy" of Senate and Emperor, the former having authority over the main bulk of the aes, while the latter had, after 12 B. C., the exclusive right of coining in the precious metals: this duality of control implied a duality of mints : the senatorial mint continued, until the middle of the third century, to function in the temple of Juno Moneta on the Capitol, as under the Republic, now issuing only aes stamped with seas the mark of the Senate’s authority; and Gaius, when he transferred the minting of imperial gold and silver from Lugdunum to Rome, set up in some other quarter of the city an imperial mint, directed from Trajan’s time, at least, by a procurator monetae,5 which issued, in addition to gold and silver, imperial aes without the letters s c. On this view the presence or absence of s c on a bronze piece is equivalent to a mint-mark, denoting senatorial mint in the one case, imperial mint in the other. P. L. Strack, while maintaining the theory of dual control as reflected, so he believes, in the Senate's "Selbständigkeit" in the choice of types,6 inclines to deny the duality of mints, not only for Trajan's day, but also for earlier imperial times: until c. A. D. 80 both the senatorial and imperial officinae were housed on the Capitol, after that date in the Moneta Caesaris situated in the third region on the Via Labicana.7 On Strack's view the presence or absence of s c denotes, not mints, but officinae, senatorial on the one hand as opposed to imperial on the other. If the above views be accepted, it follows that the bronze medallions proper were, with the exception of the few pieces marked s c, issued by an imperial minting authority quite distinct from the senatorial minting authority which controlled the regular aes coinage, the two authorities being at all events mutually independent and perhaps working through organizations housed under different roofs. Such theories of two separate mints and of dual control can, obviously, tend to an indiscriminate grouping together of all non- s c pieces, either as medallions, with Gnecchi, or, with Strack as "kaiserliche Bronze." The problem of the Roman mint is thus not without importance for the general question of defining the relation of medallions to the other aes issues.

On the other hand, the results of recent research are all in favor of the probability that from the earliest days of the Principate the city of Rome knew but one mint and one single minting authority, that of the Princeps himself.8 It will be generally admitted that Augustus' express anxiety to preserve republican forms was, in fact, exactly proportionate to his actual possession, and exercise, of an all-embracing personal authority superior to that of all others, described by himself as "auctoritas."9 The notion that he could, in any real sense, have "renounced" or "resigned" to the Senate an aes currency which, with the exception of the smallest denomination, the quadrans, bore his image and superscription or, at the least, some definite reference to his personal achievements, harmonizes ill with what we know of his position and of his sense of the propaganda value of the coinage. We can gauge the conventional nature of the appearance of moneyers' names (III viri a a a f f) on the early Roman gold and silver coinage issued between 19 and 12 B. C., and on the Roman aes issued between 23 and 4 B. C., from the fact that these issues were suspended during Augustus' absences from Rome in 20 to 19 and 15 to 1410 and that after 4 (or 7?) B. C.11 these names quietly disappear forever from the coinage of the Roman state, although it is known from inscriptions that the officials themselves existed until as late as the third century. But we have no evidence that their duties were more than nominal or, at the most, trivial or implied in any way the existence throughout this period of a separate senatorial mint. Certainy in Trajan's time, possibly earlier, the task of providing a due supply of suitable metals, of aes as well as of silver and gold, was assigned to an imperial freedman—optio et exactor auri argenti aers.12 As for the senatorial formula s c upon the aes, impressive as it may seem at first sight, it constitutes no conclusive argument for an independent senatorial mint in Rome or for an independent senatorial mint control. That it had, indeed, no essential or exclusive connection with the Roman mint has been proved by a recent study of the official Augustan coinage of the East.13 There s c occurs on several varieties of official currency struck at various mints in Syria, in Cyprus and possibly in Asia; it is shown to be parallel to the formula c a, interpreted as "Caesaris auctoritate," which appears on official currencies of Asian, Cypriot and Syrian mintage; and the conclusion is drawn that s c stands for the senatusconsulta, valid all over the Empire, which immediately sanctioned the coinage but which were passed in the first instance on Augustus’ motion (Caesaris auctoritate), his authority to make such motions being the ius senatus consulendi inherent in his tribunicia potestas and the ius relationis specially conferred. Thus s c is no senatorial mint-mark; nor does it denote independent senatorial management of the aes coinage either in Rome or in the provinces. There was no dyarchy; the aes, no less than the gold and silver, was under the ultimate control of the Princeps’ auctoritas. But in so far as the senatusconsultum was part of the machinery employed for the production of aes the formula expresses a real cooperation in this department of Senate with Princeps:14 and in the Augustan period, at any rate, it can hardly be described as "a mere sign without legal importance"15 or as a fiction of Augustan ideology.16 Passing on into post-Augustan times, the absence of s c on the adlocutio coins of Gaius, the issue, that is to say, of these pieces without the intervention of a senatusconsultum, can, as we saw,17 be readily explained. The presence of the indirect formula ex s c on the early gold and silver of Nero's reign suggests a desire to preserve the tradition of senatorial collaboration in the coinage at a time when no aes was issuing from the Roman mint. But as regards Nero's parallel issues of s c and non- s c aes, it is less easy to see why a formal senatusconsultum should have been passed in the one case and not in the other; while the s c on the African coinage of Clodius Macer, "nominally a friend of the constitution, in fact a brigand and pirate,"18 has, of course, a purely fictitious and unblushingly propagandist significance. It is interesting to speculate how far s c on the aes from the Flavian period onwards really denoted the actual passing of a senatusconsultum for every issue or whether it had become merely polite and conventional. Medaliions may throw some light upon this problem. It is perfectly obvious why s c should be normally absent from presentation pieces, standing outside the regular currencies and endowed with a special character as personal gifts from the Emperor to individuals. A senatusconsultum was clearly out of the question there; and it is difficult to believe that a senatusconsultum should have been specially invoked for striking the rare, but true, medallions with s c on their reverses, in particular, the small s c pieces of the third century, indistinguishable in style and content from the parallel pieces without that formula. If, however, by the second and third centuries the letters survived on the ordinary aes currency as a tradition, no longer necessarily implying an actual legal enactment, we can understand how they could occasionally appear on gift pieces not originaly intended for regular circulation. Similarly, the continuance into the second and third centuries of pseudo medallions, issued as occasional presentation pieces along with the great series of medallions proper, is more easily explicable if the senatorial formula on their reverses had by then largely lost its original connotation and become, to some extent, at any rate, a symbol.

We may conclude that until the middle of the third century true bronze medallions, money medallions and pseudo medallions were all alike the product of a single Roman mint under imperial control; that the medallions proper almost undoubtedly, the gold and silver multiples very probably, were struck in special officinae of their own, but beneath the same roof as the regular coinage, with obverse portraits and reverse designs deliberately planned in association with the ordinary coin types so as not to overlap, as a general rule, with the latter, but to display a distinctive style and content consonant with their distinctive role; and that the structural continuity of true medallions with first-century pseudo medallions implies an unbroken medallic tradition in the Roman imperial mint from its earliest years.19

With the reign of Gallienus we reach a turning-point in the mint history of Roman medallions, which were issued henceforth not only in Rome but at the new imperial mints now officially established in Italy and in the provinces. For medallions and coins alike specimen portraits of the Emperors, and even models or sketches of reverse types, may well have been supplied to the provincial mints from Rome. But the marked variations in style and in details, particularly clear in the case of medallions, leave little room for doubt that the actual dies were cut locally and reflect the taste and mannerisms of local schools. Gold money medallions are generally mint-marked from the time of Diocletian, occasionally earlier, and from Constantine I onwards the silver is mint-marked as well. Very rarely we encounter mint-marks on aes. But the gold and silver medallions of Gallienus, most of the gold medallions of his successors down to Diocletian and the vast bulk of the bronze medallions from those of Gallienus to the end of the series must be assigned to their mints on grounds of style and content alone. Such attribuiions are always difficult to make and are often admittedly uncertain. Each unmarked type must be treated individually and attributed by means of a careful study of established coin mint styles. Here we must be content with some illustrations of the methods employed in attributing unmarked medallions and with a brief survey of medallion mints as the mint-marks have revealed them to us.

None of the medallions of Gallienus bear mint-marks. Many of his bronze pieces would appear to have been issued at the Roman mint; but a fair proportion of the gold and silver and a few of the aes medallions can be attributed, on the grounds of their portrait style, to the two other central mints of the Empire—Milan and Siscia. We may illustrate this process by a few examples. The bare bust, cut in a slight curve at the base and coming down to a sharp point in front, which is characteristic of Gallienus’ Milanese portraits,20 appears on his gold medallions with Hercules standing to left (virt gallieni avg)21 and on small bronze pieces with the same reverse type, on his two gold pieces with a scene of imperial sacrifice on their reverses (p m tr p ii cos/iii [sic] p p 22 and p m tr p vii cos iiii p p)23 and on the Beistegui gold medallion with the reverse type gallie/nvs avg ob/fidem re/servatam in a laure-wreath.24 This portrait type shows a square jaw, a slightly upward glance and upward tilt of the head, a thick, somewhat protruding "thatch" of curling locks above the brow, short, neat curling locks on the nape of the neck and a light beard, forming a roughly diagonal line from ear to chin and spreading a short way down the neck under the chin. Thus, on the strength of its portrait, with its square jaw, upward glance and upward tilt of the head and its similary treated hair and beard, we may assign to the Milanese mint the fine silver medallion at Milan with adlocutio reverse type and the Emperor wearing taenia only on the obverse.25 So, too, we may ascribe to the mint of Milan, in view of their portraits with square jaw and similar hair and beard, two small bronze medallions, one with reverse type of Diana running to the right (diana felix),26 the other with reverse type of Victory, with wings outspread, seen from the front and holding a garland in both hands (victoria avgg/figure figure):27 both of these pieces have identical obverse busts. Again, as regards Siscia, we can with some confidence attribute to her mint, on grounds of subject-matter, a large silver medallion in Paris showing on its reverse (fides exercitvs) the Emperor standing with Victory and Virtus (?) between two river-deities who, in this Gallienic context, can be none other than the two Pan-nonian rivers, the Save and the Drave, or, perhaps, the Save and the Colapis, at the junction of which Siscia stood.28 From this piece, and from a better-preserved bronze medallion in Berlin with identical obverse and of unmistakably identical mintage, but combined with a different reverse (xx cos . . . mariniano),29 we can establish the well-marked characteristics of a medallion portrait style of Gallienus ascribable, at least, to Siscia. These characteristics—a laurel-wreath with particularly long, spiky leaves, long, straight parallel locks of hair above the brow, long, heavy locks on the nape of the neck and a heavy, square-shaped beard covering a large part of the cheek and the side of the neck30—likewise occur on silver medallions with Pax seated to left (pax avg), one piece with cuirassed bust,31 three with bare bust cut at the base in a scalloped line with two indentations, one of them deep, and with one taenia-end straying across it.32 This last type of bust would appear to be a regular Siscian (?) feature, for we also find it on several pieces combined with the other characteristics attributable to that mint, for example, on the silver vberitas avg medallion in Paris,33 on the gold Tres Monetae medallion in the British Museum34 and on a small gold piece, also in the British Museum, with fides/mili/tvm in a laure-wreath.35

The medallions of the Gallic Emperors—Postumus, Victorinu, Tetricus I and Tetricus II—were, obviously, issued at the Gallic mints of Lugdunum and Cologne. No mint-marked medallions occur for Claudius Gothicus, Aurelian, Tacitus and Florian. Most of the bronze medallions of Claudius, Tacitus and Florian appear to have been struck in Rome. Of the small gold medallions of Aurelian some, with obverse portrait showing a large head and radiate crown and reverse adventvs avg,36 may be attributed to the Roman mint. The piece showing Mars (virtvs avg)37 may have been struck at Lugdunum;38 and with this piece, in view of its portrait style, goes the large bronze medallion with Sol in quadriga (soli invicto), which has, indeed, the appearance of being a bronze "strike" from the dies of a lost gold piece.39 The small gold piece with Concorda seated (concordia avg)40 suggests Siscian mintage.41

It is with Probus that we first encounter mint-marks on medallions, on seven gold and three bronze pieces, all of Siscia. The interesting antoninianus reverse type with the legend siscia probi avg and Siscia seated between two river-deities, the Save and the Colapis,42 seems to indicate a special tie between the Pannonian mint-city and the Pannonian Emperor, native of Sirmium; and in view of the fact that Siscia is the only mint mentioned on medallions dating from Probus to the accession of Diocletian, it has been suggested that there was a special medallion atelier at Siscia during this period.43 As for unmarked small gold pieces, three may be ascribed on the ground of their portrait style to the Siscian mint;44 two show the same style as coins ascribed to the mint of Serdica;45 and one shows the style and short form of obverse legend (imp probvs avg) usually associated with Probus’ Roman mintage.46 Of his large bronze medallions many wrere doubtless struck in Rome, while the style of some suggests Siscia. For Carus and his family we have only one mint-marked medallion, a large gold piece of Carus and Carinus struck at Siscia.47 Some of the unmarked gold medallions of their time may be of Siscian mintage: many of the large bronze pieces were probably issued in Rome.47a

With the accession of Diocletian the mint-marking of gold medallions becomes for the first time not the exception but the general rule. Of the ten gold medallions of Diocletian known to the present writer eight bear mint-marks—one of Alexandra (ale •), one of Antioch (sma), one of Nicomedia (smn),48 one of Rome (pr), two of Ticinum (smt) and two of Trier (ptr). The two remaining pieces49 may be assigned on grounds of portrait style to the mints of Rome50 and Cyzicus51 respectively. Of Diocletian's bronze medallions three are mint-marked; they were respectively struck at Siscia (sis),52 Cyzicus (sc)53 and, probably, in Rome (p]rom).54 From the general similarity of their portraits to that of the gold medallion with the mint-mark of Rome,55 we should ascribe the great majority of his unmarked bronze medallions to Roman mintage, including those with the remarkable large bare head of the Emperor,56 similar in type to, but different in style from, that on the large gold medallions of Alexandrian57 and Nicomedian58 mintage and on the smaller gold medallion of Ticinum.59

Of the four extant gold medallions of Diocletian and Maximian two are mint-marked. These have laureate and draped busts of the two Emperors on their obverse and on their reverse the legend iovio et hercvlio and the two Emperors sacrificing over a tripod, above which, in the background, are small figures of Juppiter and Hercules, standing side by side upon a platform. One bears the mint-mark smvr (Rom),60 the other the mint-mark smt (Ticinum).61 The two famous pieces in Florence and Berlin respectively, with Diocletian and Maximian in an elephant-quadriga to front, bear no mint-marks.62 But they can be attributed with confidence to the mint of Rome on the score of the elephants, which are accurately and naturalistically rendered by an artist who must have been in a position to observe the animals at first hand in the Roman circus; they present a marked contrast to the comical, man-faced creatures on the Stockholm 4½-solidi piece of Constantine I and on the two 2-solidi pieces of Constantius II as Caesar, all struck at Trier in 326 and obviously designed by an artist to whom fate had denied opportunities for the study of elephants.63 The moneta avgg and moneta iovi et hercvli avgg bronze medallions of the two Emperors were probably struck in Rome. But we may, with Horvat, assign to Siscian mintage a large bronze piece found at Siscia in the river Colapis, with reverse victoriae avgvstorvm / vot x and Diocletian, crowned by Victory, handing a globe to Maximian, whom another Victory also crowns:64 for the arrangement of the imperial mantle on Maximian’s left shoulder, on the obverse, we have an exact parallel in the obverse portrait of Diocletian on his Siscian bronze medallion. The 10-aureus piece, found at Arras, with busts of the four Emperors, Diocletian and Galerius on the obverse, Maximian and Constantius Chlorus on the reverse, has been assigned on stylistic grounds to a Gallic mint:65 the style of the beards and the leaf-decoration on the shoulder of the imperial mantles certainly recall a Diocletianic antoninianus of Lugdunum mintage.66

Maximian’s gold medallions are, with two exceptions, all mint-marked. Two bear the mint-mark of Rome (pr), two that of Ticinum (smt)67 and three that of Trier (ptr). Of the two unmarked gold pieces, one, a 1½-aureus at Stuttgart (iovi conserv at avgg),68 has the somewhat pronounced bulge at the end of the nose which seems to be characteristic of the Roman medallions. The second piece, a "framed" piece in Vienna, is too much worn to be assigned to a mint on grounds of style with any degree of certainty.69 Three bronze medallions are mint-marked, one with sc 70 and two with sis.71 Since the two gold medallions of Ticinum72 differ rather markedly from one another in style, while the portrait style of one of them73 resembles fairly closely that of the two gold pieces with the Roman mint-mark,74 we have no sure means of deciding to which of these two mints Maximian’s unmarked bronze medallions should be assigned. Some of his bronze piecs,75 however, may be tentatively ascribed to Trier, in view of their likeness to the gold medallion from the Arras hoard minted in that city, with obverse portrait characterized by specially coarse features and retroussé nose.76

The gold medallions of Constantius Chlorus all have their mint-marks—one that of Rome (prom), one that of Siscia (sis), one that of Antioch (sma), one that of Ticinum (pt) and eight that of Trier (seven with ptr, one with tr). One bronze piece, which shows the four Emperors sacrificing in front of a temple (romae aeternae), has the Siscian mint-mark (sis) and may well be a "strike" from gold medallion dies.77 The unmarked Tres Monetae pieces can be ascribed from their portrait style, some to Rome,78 some to Ticinum79 and some, possibly, to Siscia.80 The very pronouncedly sharp, hooked nose, characteristic of the gold Trier portraits, does not appear on the bronze. The 10-aureus medallion from Arras of Constantius Chlorus and Galerius bears the mint-mark of Rome (prom).81 With one exception, all of Galerius’ gold medallions are mint-marked, one being struck at Trier (ptr), two at Serdica (smsd and sms) and one at Alexandria (ale). Two of his bronze pieces bear the mint-marks of Siscia (sis)82 and Cyzicus (sc)83 respectively; the rest all show a certain family likeness and are probably of Roman mintage. The solitary medallion of Galeria Valeria, a gold piece (veneri victrici), is of Alexandria (ale).84 Of Severus II we have one gold medallion, of Trier (tr);85 of Maximinus Daza two gold pieces, of Antioch (sman)86 and Alexandria (ale)87 respectively, and a much worked-over Tres Monetae bronze piece of Cyzicus (a [sic] c);88 of Maxentius only unmarked Tres Monetae bronze pieces, probably of Rome;89 and of Romulus one gold piece, the first medallion to be struck at Ostia (post).90

The period extending from Gallienus to Constantine I, after Rome had ceased to be the sole mint for medallions and before the mint-marking of the gold and silver pieces was established as a universal rule, is, from the mintage point of view, the most interesting period in the history of our subject. It is the period in which the study of portrait styles plays an all-important part in determining the mintage of individual pieces; and, as such, it deserves the somewhat detailed consideration which it has received here. From Constantine I onwards all gold and silver medallions, with the exception of two "Fest-aurei" types and two small silver types of Constantine I and of a principia ivventvtis/sarmatia type of Constantine II as Caesar,91 are mint-marked. Such mintage problems as now confront us are all concerned with the bronze. We will first briefly consider the bronze pieces and then conclude with an analysis of the mints from which medallions were issued in the precious metals.

Of the bronze medallions of the Constantnian age, from Constantine I to Constantuss Gallus, a few bear mint-marks — of Trier (ptr), Constantinople (cons and const), Nicomedia (smn) and Rome (pr and r). Several of these marked pieces may well be bronze strikes from gold medallion dies.92 But the vast majority of pieces of this period are unmarked. We may, with some confidence, attribute most of the unmarked pieces of Constantine I, Crispus and Constantuss II to Rome, in view of their close stylistic correspondence with the bronze medallions, issued in their names, which bear the Roman mint-mark.93 Constans has one piece with the Constantinopolitan mint-mark.94 But his unmarked pieces, and those of Constantine II, Magnentius, Decentius and Constantius Gallus are all decidedly uniform in style; and we might, on general grounds, assign them, tentatively, also to Rome. The later bronze pieces, from Julian onwards, which lie on the border-line between medallions and coins95 display the marks of quite a variety of mints—Antioch, Constantinople, Nicomedia, Heraclea, Thessalonica, Sirmium, Aquileia and Rome. As we have seen,96 many of the more medallic of these bear the mint-mark of Rome; unmarked pieces which resemble the Roman pieces closely we might, not unreasonably, attribute to the Roman mint.97

Turning to the study of mint-marks on the precious metals, we find that during the Constantinian period, down to Constantius Gallus, Trier was by far the most prolific of the imperial mints in the issue of money medallions. Twenty-two different medallions,98 all in gold, were struck there for Constantine I, two in gold for Fausta, two in gold for Crispus, six in gold for Constantine II, eight in gold and one in silver for Constantius II, four in gold and one in silver for Constans, two in gold and one in silver for Magnentius and three in gold for Decentius, making a total of fifty-two.99 Thessalonica comes next with seven gold medallions for Constantine I, six gold and one silver for Constantine II, six gold and three silver for Constantius II, five gold and two silver for Constans and one in gold for Constantius Gallus, making a total of thiry-one.100 Third on the list is Nicomedia, with fifteen medallions of Constantine I, one of Fausta, one of Licinius I and Licinius II, one of Crispus, seven of Constantine II and four of Constantius II, twenty-nine in all and all in god.101 Constantinople follows close upon Nicomedia with a total of twenty-eight: eight gold and four silver medallions were struck for Constantine I, three gold and one silver for Constantine II, nine gold for Constantius II, two gold for Constans and one in silver for Constantius Galus.102 At Siscia twenty-seven medallions were issued, seven in gold for Constantine I, one in silver for Crispus, one in gold and one in silver for Constantine II, five in gold and three in silver for Constantius II, four in gold and four in silver for Constans and one in silver for Constantius Galus.103 Aquileia occupies the next place: there one gold and two silver medallions were struck for Constantine I, one silver for Licinius I, one gold for Licinius II, two silver for Crispus, one silver for Constantine II, one gold and one silver for Constantius II, six gold and two silver for Constans, four gold for Magnentius and one silver for Constantius Gallus, making a total of tweny-three.104 From Antioch we have sixteen, all in gold: two for Constantine I, twelve for Constantius II, and two for Consans.105 Next on the list is Sirmium with a total of ten, again all in gold; four of Constantine I, two of Crispus, one of Crispus and Constantine II, two of Constantine II and one of Constantius II.106 From Ticinum we have seven medallions, also all gold, three of Constantine I, one of Helena, one of Fausta, one of Licinius II, and one of Constantine II.107 In Rome four medallions were issued, one in gold for Constantine I, one in silver for Constantine II and two in gold for Constantius I.108 Finally, there are four mints each with one medallion apiece—Milan, with one in gold of Constantius II (smned), Heraclea, writh one in gold of Constantine I (smher), Lugdunum, with one in silver of Constantius Gallus (lvg) and Ostia, with one in gold of Constantine I (post).

When we pass to the later period, from Julian onwards, we find Trier again heading the list with a total of twenty-six money medallions; five in gold of Valen-tinian I, six in gold and one in silver of Valens, seven in gold (including a silver copy, in Paris, of a lost gold original) of Gratian, five in gold of Valentinian II and two in gold of Eugenius.109 From Constantinople, second on the list, we have two gold medallions of Julian, one of Jovian, one of Valentinian I, one of Gratian, one of Valentinian II, one of Theodosius I, four of Arcadius, one in silver (probably a copy of a lost gold original) of Honorius, one in silver of Theodosius II and one in gold of Marcianus, making a total of fourteen.110 The Roman mint issued eleven medallions; three in gold for Valens, one in silver for Valentinian II, one in silver for Theodosius I, two in silver for Arcadius, one in gold and one in silver for Honorius and two in silver for Atalus.111 From Thessalonica we have seven medallions; two in gold and one in silver of Valentinian I, three in gold of Valens and one in silver of Theodosius I.112 Next comes Antioch, with six gold medallions; two of Valentinian I, one of Valentinian I and Valens and three of Valens.113 The five medallions struck at Aquileia are also in gold—one apiece for Valentinian I, Valens, Gratian, Valentinian II and Theodosius I.114 Milan, too, has four medallions—one in gold of Valentinian I, one in gold of Theodosius I and one in gold and one in silver of Honorius.115 Three medallions are known from the mint of Ravenna—one in gold and one in silver of Honorius and two of Galla Placidia in god.116 Lastly, the three mints of Ticinum, Siscia and Lugdunum each issued one medallion apiece—Ticinum one in gold for Attalus (pst), Siscia one in silver for Valentinian I (siscp) and Lugdunum one in gold for Valentinian II (ld).

End Notes

1 RIC I, pp. 7 f.; IV, i, p. 64; K. Pink, "The Mints of the Roman Empire" (Trans. Internat. Num. Congr. 1936, pp. 241 f.).
2 The two gold money medallions of Augustus—the 4-aurei piece from Pompeii at Naples (G I, tav. 1, no. 1) and the much disputed 4-aurei piece at Este, said to have been found at Este in 1925 (S. L. Cesano, Numismatica augustea, 1937, pp. 32 ff., tav. 5, nos. 1, 2)—were presumably struck at Lugdunum.
47a The letters SC in the exergue of the bronze consular medallions of Numerianus and Carinus (G III, tav. 161, nos. 9, 10) may be the mint-mark of Cyzicus (vide infra line 16 and p. 87).
3 Vide supra p. 20.
4 RIC I, p. 16; Mattingly, op. cit., pp. 131 f.
5 ILS, I, 1352.
6 Strack I, S. 5. This view is still maintained (unconvincingly, in the present writer's opinion) in Stracks third volume, SS. 25 ff., 40 ff.
7 Strack I, S. 7, Anm. 16; Platner & Ashby, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, pp. 345 f.; G. Lugli, I monumenti antichi di Roma e suburbio III: a traverso le regioni. p. 389. It is certainly improbable that Gaius, when he closed the imperial mint at Lugdunum, so scrupulously respected republican susceptibilities as to open a new establishment in another part of Rome if the officinae for gold and silver coinage could be conveniently housed in the existing mint on the Capitol.
8 Cf. K. Pink, Klio 1936, S. 223 and in a personal letter to the present writer "ich bin ϋberzeugt. dass es nur ein Mϋnzamt gab, dass es ganz unter Kaiserlichen Einfluss stand."
9 Res Gestae 34.
10 BMCCRE I, p. xcvi.
11 Ibid. I, p. xcviii.
12 ILS I, 1634, 1635.
13 In a forthcoming work by M. Grant of Trinity College, Cambridge.
14 Cf. Regling s. v. s c in Schrötter's Wörterbuch der Mϋnzkunde:—"Von einer förmlichen Dyarchie von Kaiser und Senat im M.-Wesen... keine Rede ist ... Es handelt sich vielmehr nur um eine Mit-wirkung des Senates, deren Art sehr mannigfaltig gewesen sein kann." The Senate arranged for the striking of the aes.
15 K. Pink, Trans. Internat. Num. Congr. 1936, p. 240.
16 K. Pink, Klio 1936, S. 226 f.:—"Der Sinn dieser Formel, die fϋr die ideologic des Augustus typisch ist, ist m. E. nur fiktiv, eine Art Idealprǎgerecht des Senats, praktisch gleich Null, wenn ein starker Herrscher regierte."
17 Vide supra p. 28.
18 RIC I, p. 193.
19 Cf. BMCCRE IV, pp. xvii f.
20 This is proved by the billon coinage with this type of bust and the mint-marks mp, lis, mt.
21 G I, tav. 3, nos. 3, 4.
22 G I, tav. 3, no. 1.
23 R. Mowat, op. cit., pl. 17, no. 2. Pl. III, 11.
24 J. Babelon, op. cit., pl. 12, no. 229. Pl. III, 12.
25 G I, tav. 26, no. 7 (Pl. XLVI, 4).
26 G III, tav. 154, no. 14.
27 Trans. Internal. Num. Congr. 1936, pl. 16, no. 10. Pl. III, 13.
28 G I tav. 26 no. 8; Alföldi, NK. 1927-28 p. 47, no. 2, pl. 5, nos. 27 28; but see Alföldi ZN 1927, S. 202, Anm. 1.
29 G II tav. 113, no. 10; but see Alföldi, op. tit., S. 202, where this piece is ascribed to Milan.
30 Alföldi, however, attributes the portraits with these characteristics to the mint of Cologne (JRS 30, 1940, pp. 1 ff.).
31 G II, tav. 114, no. 6.
32 G II, tav. 114, nos. 7,8.
33 G I, tav. 27, no. 6.
34 G I, tav. 2, no. 12. Cf. bronze examples of the same medallion (G II, tav. 114, no. 2).
35 G I, p. 7, no. 8 (Pl. XIX, 2).
36 G I, tav. 3, nos. 9, 10, 11.
37 G I, tav. 3, no. 13.
38 Cf. portrait of RIC V, i, pl. 8, no. 133, attributed on p. 265, no. 1 to Lugdunum.
39 G II, tav. 117, nos. 9, 10.
40 G I, tav. 3, no. 12.
41 Cf. portrait of RIC V, i, pl. 7, no. 98, attributed on p. 288, no. 216 to Siscia.
42 RIC V, ii, pl. 3, no. 7.
43 B. Horvat, Numismatika 1933, p. 22. Examples of mint-marked gold pieces of Probus are:—G I, tav. 4, nos. 2, 3; RIC V, ii, p. 80, no. 594, cf. pl. 3, no. 11; Rome seated (romae aeternae) in Vienna (not in Cohen or Gnecchi) (Pl. II, 10). Bronze pieces are:—G II, tav. 121, no. 10; III, tavv. 156, no. 19; 157, no. 3.
44 G I, tavv. 3, no. 16; 4, no. 1; adventvs avg in Gotha (not in Cohen or Gnecchi) (Pl. II, 6).
45 Jameson Collection Catalogue III, pl. 22, no. 467 (Pl. II, 7); G I, tav. 3, no. 17.
46 E.g. B.M. piece (Pl. II, 8)
47 G I, tav. 4, no. 8 (Pl. XLVII, 7).
48 Pl. XLVIII, 1.
49 Aréthuse, Jan. 1924, pl. 8, no. 3 (Arras) (Pl. VIII, 1); G I, tav. 4, no. 15.
50 Cf. G I, tav. 4, no. 14 (perpetva felicitas avcg / pr).
51 Cf. aureus of Cyzicus with legend fatis victricibvs / sc (RIC V, ii, pl. 12, no. 7).
52 G II, tav. 125, no. 10.
53 Evans Collection Sale Catalogue 1934, pl. 58, no. 1825. Pl. III, 14.
54 G II, tav. 124, no. 1. This reading, which is Cohen's, seems much more probable than Gnecchi's aqs ( = Aquileia). The letters of the mint-mark in the exergue of this piece are partly obliterated.
55 Vide supra n. 50.
56 G II, tav. 124, nos. 2, 6.
57 G I, tav. 4, no. 12.
58 I, tav. 4, no. 13 (Pl. XLVIII, 1).
59 G I, tav. 4, no. 10.
60 Examples at Trier (NZ 1931, Taf. 1, Nr. 2) and formerly in Paris (cast in Berlin). Pl. III, 15, 16.
61 Example formerly in Paris (cast in Berlin). Pl. IV, 1. In the possession of the Rev. E. S. Rogers there is a bronze piece with this type, but on a slightly larger scale, probably a "strike" from the dies of a gold medallion. In the exergue on its reverse there is a mint-mark, which may be smt, but the letters are very uncertain. Pl. IV, 2.
62 G I, tav. 5, no8. 1, 2.
63 ZN 1928, Taf. 3, Nr. 3. Pl. IV, 3. G I, tav. 10, nos. 6, 7.
64 Numismatika 1933, pp. 19-22, pl. 1, no. 3. Pl. IV, 4.
65 A. Baldwin, "Four Medaliions from the Arras Hoard" (NNM 28, 1926), no. 4, pp. 28ff., pl. 4 (Pl. VIII, 2).
66 RIC V, ii, pl. 11, no. 3.
67 Pl. XLVIII, 2.
68 Cf. G I, p. 12, no. 3; NZ 1931, Taf. 1, Nr. 7 (example formerly in Paris). Pl. IV, 5, 6.
69 G I, tav. 5, no. 4. K. Pink assigns this piece to the mint of Trier (NZ 1931, S. 30).
70 British Museum. G III, p. 94, no. 62. Pl. IV, 7.
71 NZ 1920, Taf. 11 (first piece on left in fourth row). Pl. IV, 8. G II, tav. 126, no. 5. Strikes from gold medallion dies?
72 G I, tav. 5, nos. 3, 8.
73 G I, tav. 5, no. 8.
74 G I, tav. 5, nos. 5, 7.
75 E. g. G II, tavv. 126, no. 10; 127, no. 8.
76 Arélthuse, Jan., 1924, pl. 8, no. 4 (Pl. VIII, 3).
77 Vienna. Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 42, Nr. 3563. Pl. IV, 9.
78 E. g. G II, tav. 128, no. 4; cf. G I, tav. 5, no. 11.
79 E. g. G II, tav. 128, nos. 3, 7, 8; cf. Aréthuse, Jan., 1924, pl. 8, no. 8.
80 E. g. G II, tav. 128, nos. 5, 6; cf. G I, tav. 5, no. 9.
81 A. Baldwin, op. cit., no. 1, pp. 12 ff., pl. 1 (Pl. IX, 4).
82 G II, tav. 129, no. 4.
83 Vienna. A scene of sacrifice before a temple (rome [sic] aeternae). Not in Cohen or Gnecchi.
84 G I, tav. 6, no. 3.
85 G I, tav. 6, no. 4.
86 G I, tav. 6, no. 5.
87 Beistegui Collection. J. Babelon, op. cit., pl. 12, no. 231. Pl. IV, 10.
88 G II tav. 129 no. 5.
89 G II, tav. 129, nos. 7, 8.
90 Formerly in Paris (cast in Berlin). Pl. IV, 11.
91 This type was almost certainly struck at Trier, since the other types with the same legend and design bear the mint-mark tr.
92 E. g. Constantine I, mint-mark = ptr, location = Trier (Acta Archaologicaa 1934, p. 100, fig. 1. Pl. V, I.); (Crispus and Constantine II on reverse) mint-mark = cons, location = Rome (G I, tav. 29, no. 10: wrongly quoted as silver); (Crispus and Constantine II on reverse) mint-mark = ptr (?), location = Vienna (Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 46, Nr. 3969. Pl. V, 2.); Constantius II (Crispus and Constantius II on reverse) mint-mark = smn, location unknown: it is not in the British Museum, as Delbrϋck states (Delbrϋck, Spätantike Kaiserporträts, S. 80, Taf. 7, Nr. 2).
93 We must except the pietas avgvste[s] pieces of Helena (G II, tav. 128, no. 9) and Fausta (G II, tav. 133, no. 1), which are probably of eastern mintage.
94 Paris no. 716 (G II, p. 144, no. 20).
95 Vide supra p. 37.
96 Vide supra p. 37.
97 E. g. G II, tavv. 139, nos. 8, 9 (Julian); 140, no. 1 (Jovian).
98 The statistics which follow are based on medallions which the present writer has either personally examined or found recorded in reliable sources.
99 Mint-makss are:—ptr, ptre, tr.
100 Mint-makss are:—smts, thes, tsε, tes.
101 Mint-makss are:—smn, smnp, smnt, mnm, mnb, mnr.
102 Mint-marks are:—cons, const, m cons, m consb, m cons, m consz, m conss, kons Ñ .
103 Mint-mark always sis, either alone or accompanied by a symbol.
104 Mint-makss are:— aq, aqs, maq, shaq.
105 Mint-makss are:— an, sman, smanb, smanh, smant, smanŤ.
106 Mint-mark always sirm.
107 Mint-mark always smt. The small silver medallion of Constantine I with adlocutio scene (Vide supra, p. 39) bears no mint-mark, but has been attributed on stylistic grounds to Ticinum.
108 Mint-marks are:— R, PR, rm, smr.
109 Mint-makss are:— r, smtr, trob, trobc, trobs, trobt, trps.
110 Mint-makss are:— cons, consr, konsaN, conob.
111 Mint-marks are:— re, rm, rp, rt, rmps, roma.
112 Mint-makss are:— tes, smtes, tesob.
113 Mint-marks are:—an, ant, antob, anobs. The Germanic imitations from Szilágy Sόmlyό (Valens) and the Russo-Polish frontier (Valentinian I and Valens) are included in this list as they doubtless represent lost originals (vide infra pp. 66, 68).
114 Mint-marks are:—smaq, aqob.
115 Mint-marks are:—md, mdps, med.
116 Mint-makss are:—rv, rvps.


It is much to be regretted that so few medallions, comparatively speaking, have come down to us accompanied by reliable records of the exact place and circumstances of their discovey.1 Precise knowledge of these facts, determining the authenticity of pieces the technique or content of which might otherwise arouse suspicion, will obviously increase the credibility of parallel pieces of unknown provenance. Again, in at least one notable instance the antiquity, not only of the pieces themselves, but of their working-over, has been established in this way. The Capitoline Museum possesses four "framed" bronze pieces, of Hadrian,2 Faustina II,3 Lucius Verus 4 and Elagabalus 5 respectively, which have been so much retouched— Elagabalus' medallion has been very largely remade—that their authenticity would be gravely in doubt, were it not known for certain that they were dug up in 1876 on the Monte della Giustizia, not far from the present site of the Stazione di Termini, and passed straight from the earth to the Museum.6 The medallions must, then, have been tampered with, not by modern, but by ancient, hands. But knowledge of provenances is chiefly valuable for the light which they may throw upon the types of persons to whom medallions were presented and on the uses to which they were put by their recipients. Naturally, to connoisseurs of Renaissance and subsequent times, whose private acquisitions have now gone to form what is still the bulk of material in the great public collections of Europe to-day, medallions, like coins, were first and foremost objects of artistic beauty or antiquarian interest. It is only in comparatively recent times that we have come to appreciate fully their historical and archaeological implications. Hence the scarcity of provenance records. Still, the records which we have are quite sufficient to merit careful study, and one result of an analysis of find-spots will be immediately obvious: we shall have to modify very considerably the statement made by Gnecchi in 1912 to the effect that bronze medallions "meno qualche rara eccezione, vengono ritrovati a Roma e nei dintorni."7

Many of the bronze medallions of which the provenances are recorded by Gnecchi are, indeed, pieces in his own collection discovered (in cases where dates are given) between 1889 and 1912 during excavations conducted in Rome. Of these twenty-two are of the second century and six of the third, which, together with two of Maximian and one of Constantius II, make up a total of thirty-one. Gnecchi also mentions the discovery in Rome in 1909 of a fine bronze piece of Gordian III, but does not know what became of it.8 Three of Gnecchi's bronze medallions are of provincial provenance—one found in Egypt in 1907, the second in Asia Minor and the third in Hungary in 1908; and he further records the provincial provenance of twelve other bronze pieces belonging to collections other than his own—four found in France (Reims, Autun, Baalon (Meuse) and Andacelle (Isère) ), one in Germany (Cologne), three in Austria (Pettau = Poetovio, Vienna, Deutsch-Altenburg = Carnuntum), two in Hungary (one of them at Ó-Szöny = Brigetio), one in Asia Minor and one in Syria. Thus, on Gnecchi's own showing, fifteen out of the forty-seven bronze medallions the find-spots of which he mentions—that is to say, nearly a third—were discovered elsewhere than in Rome. To his list of pieces of Roman provenance Gnecchi could have added seven more—the four "framed" medallions in the Capitoline Museum, the discovery of which on the Monte della Giustizia was described as early as 1877,9 and three pieces in the Vatican Collection, which he quotes without mention of the fact that they are noted there as having come to light in the Catacombs, one in 1906 and two in 1908. The first of these three piece10 is presumably one of the nine, unspecified, Vatican medallions which were discovered in the Catacombs between the middle of the nineteenth century and 1907:11 but as no medallions other than the 1906 piece in the Vatican Collection have find-dates falling within this period affixed to them, none of the remaining eight medallions in this group can be identified with definite pieces in Gnecchis list. Similarly, it is only by process of elimination that we are able to identify three out of another group of eight Vatican medallions which were found, apparently between 1803 and 1807, in various Catacombs and passed into the Vatican Collection in 1811—three of Commodus, one of Gordian III, one of Philip I, one of Gallienus, one of Probus and one of Valentinian I.12 The identified pieces are those of Philip I (a pseudo medallion), Probus and Valentinian I: the last two are quoted by Gnecchi. Nine other medallions cited in Gnecchi's corpus without mention of their find-spots, though these were certainly recorded, are of non-Roman provenance—three from Northern Italy (neighborhood of Padua), one from France (Autun), two from Austria (Vienna), one (most probably) from Hungary, one from Yugoslavia (Sisak = Siscia) and one from Asia Minor (Ephesus). We have, then, records of the find-spots of sixty-five (possibly seventy-eight, if we included the thirteen unidentified pieces from the Catacombs) of the bronze medallions known to Gnecchi; and of these the pieces of non-Roman provenance, so far from being "rare exceptions," amount to twenty-four, roughly a third of the whole.13

We are confronted by a far greater proportion of non-Roman to Roman bronze medallion provenances when we push our investigations beyond the range of Gnecchi's corpus, forty-nine pieces from provenances in the provinces and in Italy as against sixteen from Rome and her neighborhood being known to the present writer. A number of the smaller public and private collections outside Italy, the contents of which Gnecchi did not explore, contain pieces of local provenance. We also have records in sources untapped by Gnecchi of the find-spots of other pieces, themselves no longer traceable, discovered in the provinces prior to 1912. But the main bulk of our "non-Gnecchi" material is of course derived from new discoveries made subsequent to 1912, very largely as a result of the rapid development during recent years of systematic excavation on provincial sites. The Roman finds, although few in number, include some of considerable importance. One fine piece was discovered at Ostia in 1917 and is now preserved in the Museo Nazionale Romano. The remaining fifteen are in the Vatican cabinet; and with the exception of one piece of Gallienus found on the Quirinal in 1911, all were discovered in the Catacombs. In the case of one piece neither the name of the Catacombs nor the date of the discovery is recorded in the Vatican cabinet: four were found in unspecified Catacombs as early as 1908, yet somehow escaped the notice of Gnecchi; six came to light in the Panfilo Catacombs (second storey) in 192014 and three in the Verano Catacombs, two in 1929 and one in 1937.15 These recent finds from the Panfilo and Verano Catacombs are of the greatest interest. The medallions were found affixed to the walls of the galleries, set round the slabs which sealed the loculi or resting-places of the dead. Their presence in these positions throws new light upon the uses to which medallions could be put and upon the attitude of their owners towards them, subjects to which we shall return in a later chaper.16 But their discovery has also an immediate bearing upon the whole question of medallion find-spots in Rome. After the tenth century, when the bones of the most venerated of the Martyrs had been translated to the Roman churches, the Catacombs were gradually deserted and their memory practically lost until Bosio's preliminary archaeological researches in the middle of the sixteenth century aroused a new and lasting interest in these priceless monuments of primitive Christianity.17 From that time onwards, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and during the first half of the nineteenth century, until they were finally taken into official charge, the Catacombs were exposed to the depredations of visitors of every description, who could (and did) help themselves freely to the rich stores of antiquities there revealed.18 That these treasures included considerable quantities of bronze medallions can be inferred from the analogy of the new discoveries; and the inference is supported by numerous accounts of finds made during these centuries and also by the remarkably large number of medallions figuring in collections formed at this period, as contrasted with their scarcity in earlier collecions.19 To the zeal with which this harvest was garnered the comparative rarity of medallion-finds in the Catacombs during the past hundred years bears striking testimony: it is only when quite new galleries are opened up, as, for instance, in the case of the second storey of the Panfilo Catacombs, that they appear in any number. Again, as Serafini points out, the areas available for digging or searching for antiquities in the soil of Rome and her suburbs, apart from the Catacombs, wrere extremely restricted until the middle of the nineteenth century, before excavation for the foundations of new buildings on an extensive scale began.20 All our evidence, in fact, points to the conclusion that the Catacombs were the provenance of the vast majority of the medallions which came to light in Rome between c. 1600 and 1850 and are now scattered throughout the museums and private collections of the world: and to this evidence the new finds in the Panfilo and Verano Catacombs make a contribuiion of the first importance.

After c. 1850, indeed, other sites in the city began to yield medallions. We have already mentioned the discovery in 1876 on the Monte della Giustizia.21 It was on this site, during excavations for the construction of the Stazione di Termini (1872), that there came to light the medallions which formed the nucleus of the Tyskiewicz Collection. Tyskiewicz himself describes how he secured from the agent Jandola the lion's share of the "nombre incroyable de mèdaillons romains" which the workmen had turned up.22 Furthermore, he adduces the proximity of the Castra Praetoria as explaining the phenomenal fertility of this particular region—a point to which we shall return later on.23

We must then, it seems, allow for a very high percentage of Roman find-spots among the mass of extant bronze medallions of unrecorded provenance. But this does not affect the inaccuracy of Gnecchi's statement as to the exceptional character of bronze medallion finds outside Rome. Our records of provincial provenances unknown to Gnecchi cover a remarkably wide range of countries once within the confines of the Roman Empire.24 Starting with Northern Italy, we have two from Aquileia (1912 and 1930) and one from Rovigo. France supplies one, Avallon ( = Aballo). From Great Britain we have records of three medallions found in the Thames near old London Bridge between 1834 and 184125 and of one found at York;26 while a unique medallion of Carausius (possibly a "strike" from gold medallion dies) has recently turned up in an old collection in the north of England and is believed to have been found locally. The German provenances are Trier and Cologne. Two pieces were found at Trier in 1891 and 1921 respectively, while eight pieces have come to light in Cologne, one c. 1890, one in 1925, one in 1929 and five at unspecified dates. From Austria are recorded one medallion from Vienna and one, possibly two, from Carnuntum. Hungary contributes four pieces, one found at Dunapentele ( = Intercisa) in 1926, one (a bronze "strike" from gold dies) at Ó-Szöny (= Brigetio), one near Budapest and the fourth from an unspecified Hungarian site. Outstanding for her yield of new bronze medallion finds is Yugoslavia. Ten pieces from Sisak ( = Siscia) are distributed between public and private collections in Zagreb, two of them discovered in the years 1924 and 1934 respectively: one piece, also in Zagreb, comes from Ogulin (in Liburnia), while a fine "framed" piece from Benkovac (= Asseria) is preserved in the Croatian Museum at Knin. The National Museum at Sofia contains two bronze medallions from unknown sites in Bulgaria. From Rumania we have a piece found at Adamklissi and now in the Ružička Collection in Vienna, while five medallions discovered on various sites in the Dobruja are "in deposit" in the Museum of Antiquities at Bucarest.27 Of special interest is a recent find from Syria, a medallion of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus which came to light in a private house in Dura-Europos in 1933.28 Three medallions are recorded from Egypt, one from an unknown site and one from the Faiyum, while the third, acquired by its present owner in 1925, is said, on somewhat flimsy grounds, to have been found at Ptolemais. Our survey of bronze medallion provenances concludes with a piece from North Africa, found in 1912 at Khamissa in Algiers. Reviewing the bronze material as a whole, we may note at this point the prevalence among recorded provenances of great provincial centres of military and official life—Aquileia, Eboracum, Londinium, Augustodunum, Colonia Agrippinensis, Augusta Treverorum, Vindobona, Carnuntum, Brigetio, Poetovio, Intercisa, Siscia, Ephesus, Dura-Europos and (just possibly) Ptolemais—reserving comment upon the implications of this fact until a later stag.29

No one would join issue with Gnecchi when he states that money medallions struck in the precious metals have been found "sparsi per mondo."30 At the same time we must not run away with the impression, which he tends to convey, that the provenances of gold and silver are evenly distributed throughout the ancient word.31 Discoveries made since his day have, as we shall see, undoubtedly tended to mark out certain regions as more fertile than others, at least as far as gold medallions are concerned.32 Again, just as the recent finds, described above, in the Panfilo and Verano Catacombs have disproved for the bronze his contention that medallions are always found in isolation,33 so, too, in the case of the gold, the famous Arras find of 1922 is sufficient in itself to show that the discovery of quite large groups of medallions in finds is likely to prove far less rare a phenomenon than he supposed.34 It is, indeed, somewhat strange that Gnecchi should have emphasized quite so strongly the rarity of such discoveries when he himself cites no less than four hoards containing gold medallions—those of Velp in Holland, 1715 (six ? pieces),35 of Helle-ville, near Cherbourg, Manche, 1780 (nine pieces),36 of Szilágy-Sόmlyό in Rumania, 1797 (thirteen pieces)37 and of Ó-Szöny in Hungary, 1885 (four pieces).38 The find containing fifteen medallions discovered at Borča in Yugoslavia in 1879 Gnecchi does not mention, although he quotes three pieces which came from it. It still remains true, however, that a number of the gold, and nearly all the silver, extant pieces of known provenance were discovered in isolation. We will consider these before returning to the group-finds.

In view of the relatively modest numbers of extant silver medallions, taken in all, in comparison with the gold and bronze, and of the fact that we have no records, so far, of groups of them occurring in hoards, the scarcity of silver pieces of which the provenance is known to us is not surprising, Only eight are known to the present writer. Four of these were found in Rome, in the Catacombs, one in unspecified Catacombs in 1912 and three during the more recent excavations in the Panfilo (1920) and Verano (1929 and 1932) Catacombs. One comes from Northern Italy (Aquileia) and the remaining three from the provinces—from Germany (Cologne), Greece (neighborhood of Salonika) and Sardinia 39 respectively. The first thing which strikes us when we turn to gold medallion provenances is the remarkable scarcity of pieces recorded as having come to light in Rome and her neighborhood. In fact, we know of only one piece from the city herself, a small medallion of Carinus with the bust of Magnia Urbica on the reverse, found on the Capitol in 1902 and now in the Museo Nazionale Romano. It is possible, though by no means certain, that the two unique pieces of Theodosius I and Libius Severus respectively in the Mazzini Collection at Turin belonged to a hoard of treasure found at Albano between 1900 and 1910.40 Apart from these we have only three other records of gold provenances for the whole of the Italian peninsula, namely those of the famous Augustan medallion from Pompeii (1759: Museo Nazionale, Naples), of the much disputed Augustan piece from Este (1925: Museo Nazionae Atestino) and of the medallion of Theoderic from Senigallia (1894: Museo Nazionae Romano, Gnecchi Collection. The rarity of find-spots throughout the whole area of the southern and eastern Greek-speaking provinces of the Empire is equally noteworthy. From Greece we have one (medallion of Fausta found near Athens in 1872: Vienna cabinet), from Albania one (medallion of Gallienus: Paris, Beistegui Collection, from Palestine one (medallion of Gordian III: Paris, Jameson Collection), from Cilicia one (medallion of Alexander Severus, found at Tarsus with the three famous Greek medallions in 1867: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale) and from Cappadocia one (the great medallion of Justinian found at Caesarea in 1751 and lost from Paris in 1831). From Egypt alone of these provinces are several reported, one from Abukir (medallion of Diocletian and Maximian: Berlin) and three others (medallions of Constantius II, ex-Levis Collection, of Theodosius I, Freer Collection, Washington, and of Honorius, Berin,41 respectively) from various sites un-particularized. Again, in the western provinces, find-spots set well back within the frontiers of the Empire are extremely rare. We know of one in the south of France, La Condamine, near Monaco, where a small medallion of Gallienus came to light in 1880 (Monaco).42 Another is recorded from Great Britain, Sully, near Cardiff, where a single medallion of Diocletian appeared in a coin-hoard unearthed in 1899 (British Museum). But provenance records become in proportion more plentiful when we turn to the imperial frontiers, to the lines of Rhine and Danube, to the German limes and to the provinces of Pannonia and Moesia stretching eastwards from the Adriatic. From the Lower Rhine we know of one provenance, a site near Kessel in the Cleeves district, where a small gold piece of Constantius II was found in 1935 (Bonn);43 while from the Upper Rhine frontier we have one provenance, the canal at Saasenheim in Alsace, a site lying between the Roman cities of Argentora-tum (Strassburg) and Argentovaiia (Horburg), where a medallion of Valens came to light in 1875 (Paris, Jameson Collecion).44 A 2-solidi piece of Constans (Berlin) appeared in the mud in the bed of the Mosel at Reil, near Zell.45 The Main at Wϋrzburg ( = Segodunum?), just beyond the limes Germanicus, is the provenance of a small medallion of Gallienus found in 1886 (location unknow).46 From the Pannonian countries records of five find-spots have come to hand—one in Austria, Pettau ( = Poetovio, medallion of Constantius II, found in 1870),47 two in Hungary, Szar-Fehér (medallion of Maximian, found in 1905) and the Danube, near Eisernes Tor (medallion of Valens, found before 1763),48 two in Yugoslavia, Petrijanec, situated to the east of Pettau, just south of the Drave (medallion of Carus and Carinus, the only medallion in a coin-hoard discovered in 1805)49 and an uncertain site, either Mitrovic or some point on the Lower Danube (medallion of Crispus).50 Bulgaria, too, has yielded a respectable quota—three pieces (of Constantine I, found in 1861,51 Constans and Valens respectively) all from unspecified sites. Lastly we come to a series of isolated medallions, all of the later Empire, discovered right outside the imperial boundaries, five in Rumania (the Roman province of Dacia was abandoned in 271), one in East Prussia and three in Denmark. Four of the Rumanian pieces are of Constantine I, one found at Starčova (Temesvar), two on unspecified sites in Transylvania52 and one in the Dobruja at Celeiu ( = Sucidava, 1910);53 the fifth piece, a medallion of Gratian, was found near Arad in 1865. The East Prussian piece, a large and unique medallion of Constantius II, was discovered near the village of Hammersdorf in 1917 and is in the Königsberg museum.54 The three Danish pieces are all in the National Museum at Copenhagen: two are of Constantius II and came to light at Trϋnderϋp in Funen (1893)55 and at Allesö in Funen (1908);56 the third, a medallion of Valentinian I, was found at Faxe in Zealand (1768).57

We must now return to the hoards or treasure-finds which have produced, not isolated pieces, but groups, large or small, of gold medallions. Only four of these, the French hoards of Helleville (Manche), an unspecified place in Poitou (1865),58 Planche (Ain) (1889)59 and Arras (Pas de Calais) were found well within the boundaries of the Empire. Velp, near Arnhem (= Arenacum?), the provenance of the Dutch find, lies on the very confines of the Roman world, as does also Morenhoven, near Bonn, where two gold medallions of Magnentius turned up c. 1880 in a hoard containing twenty-two solidi ranging from the time of Constantine I to that of Magnentius;60 while the Hungarian and Yugoslav hoards of Ó-Szöny ( = Brigetio) and Borča (near Belgrade = Singidunum) came to light right on the Danube frontier line. Szilágy-Sόmlyό, the site of the Rumanian hoard, lies far to the north of the Danube, in the one-time province of Dacia abandoned to the barbarians many years before the earliest medallion in the treasure was stiuck; and three more recent medallion group-finds were discovered even further afield—one on the borders of Poland and Russia towards the end of 1927, one at Nedzierzewo, near Kalisch, in west Poland in 1927 or 1928 and the third in southeast Poland, at Boroczzce, between Lwόw and Luck, in the district of Horochόw, Volhynia, in 1928. Meanwhile vast tracts of the ancient world remain unrepresented; and thus the hoards, no less than the isolated discoveries, disprove the idea that all regions have been equally fertile in gold medallion find-spots. These hoards may now be briefly reviewed in the order of their discovery.

The six pieces, all of which probably came from Velp (1715), have already been sufficiently described.61 Six of the nine medallions from Helleville (1780) are of Constantine I; while the remaining three were struck by their father for Constantine II (one) and Constantius II (two).62 All but one disappeared from the Biblio-theque Nationale in the great theft of 1831, but fortunately not before copies of them had been made, and all nine pieces are reproduced in E. Babelon's article on the find.63 The majority of the Helleville medallions were large pieces, ranging from 34 mm. to 48 mm. in diameter. The Szilágy-Sόmlyό (1797) medallions are, of course, very well known. All are preserved in the Vienna cabinet and have long been familiar to students from the works of von Steinbϋchel, Kenner, Kubitschek and Gnecchi. They include one piece of Maximian, one of Constantine I, two of Constantius II, one of Valentinian I, seven of Valens and one of Gratian: two of Valens' medallions, with reverse legend gavdivm romanorvm/an and the type of Valens riding to the right towards Antioch (?), standing to left, are cast, not struck, and are clearly Germanic imitations of Roman work.64 To every piece a heavy ring is attached, while seven pieces are also set in elaborate and richly ornamented frames of Germanic workmanship. Their weights, including rings and frames, range from 9.21 to 412.72 grammes: five pieces weigh between 40 and 70, and three between 200 and 300, grammes. These facts tell a plain tale, which we must reserve until later.65

Of the fifteen medallions found in the spring of 1879 at the village of Borca, between Semlin and Pancevo, in the neighborhood of Belgrade, thirteen are of Constantine I, while the other two, of Constantine II and Constantius II respectively, were both struck during Constantine I's lifetime, in 325.66 Thus of the three large medallion group-finds that have come to light so far—Szilágy-Somlyό, Borca and Arras—that of Borca is chronologically the most homogeneous; and the hoard as a whole, in its preponderance of medallions over coins—fifteen to three— bids fair to rival the hoard of Szilágy-Sόmlyό with its proportion of thirteen medallions to one coin. Half of the Borča find consists of small medallions, eight 1 1/2-solidi pieces of Constantine I. The remainder is made up of three 2-solidi pieces of Constantine I, one 3-solidi piece of Constantius II, and three 4 1/2-solidi pieces, two of Constantine I and one of Constantine II. Of the four medallions found together at Ó-Szöny in 1885 three are of Maximian, two now in Budapest and one formerly in the Trau Collection: the fourth piece, of Diocletian, with Juppiter Victor on the reverse, is in an unlocated private collection and is known only from verbal reports.67

The discovery of a great hoard of gold on September 21, 1922, by laborers working in a brickfield at Beaurains near Arras in northern France is one of the most sensational numismatic events of modern times.68 Its importance to students of Roman medallions in particular would be hard to overestimate. Not only has it added to our material at least twenty-one extant pieces, twenty of which are unique in that they show either entirely new types or new variants of types previously known; but the descriptions of other pieces, alas! no longer extant, reported as belonging to the hoard—vague and tantalizing as they are—at least suggest the existence of heretofore little suspected features in the medallic history of the Dio-cletianic and early Constantinian age. Verbal reports of workmen must obviously be treated with extreme caution, but the accounts of the Beaurains laborers, among whom the treasure was at once divided, would seem to indicate that the hoard originally contained about fifty gold medallions; and if there were any truth in their statement that some were "as big as a saucer," we must reckon with the possibility that gold medallions comparable in size and weight to the largest pieces of Valens from Szilágy-Sόmlyό were struck at least as early as the first decades of the fourth century. Moreover, a Ghent dealer, to whom the bulk of the treasure was taken soon after its discovery, estimated that the two largest of the medallions would together turn the scale at well over a kilogramme. They may, in fact, have each been equivalent to 100 aurei, weighing c. 530 grammes apiece. According to the dealer, one of these giant medallions bore on its reverse a chariot, the other a "battle scene." Such types are by no means improbable: to the first our nearest medallic parallels are the 9-solidi pieces of Constantius II, showing an imperial chariot to front drawn by six horses,69 to the second, the 5-aurei piece of Numerianus, showing Carus and Numerianus in the act of charging barbarian foes.70 Again, the great lead plaque in Paris, measuring 90 by 85 mm. and found in the Saône near Lyons in 1862, has been shown to date from the time of the Diocletianic Tetrarchy:71 it can hardly be other than the "proof" of the reverse of a large gold medallion, thus furnishing independent testimony to the existence of such pieces dating from the period of the Arras hoard. But most unfortunately the curator of a local museum, convinced that such staggering objects were too good to be true, persuaded, or threatened, the dealer of Ghent into melting them down. It is heartrending to reflect how many other pieces must have met with an untimely end in the melting pot. Indeed, the famous London medallion72 was only saved from a like fate because the workman to whose share it fell, having scruples as to whether he ought to keep it, consulted his confessor, who bade him return it to his employer. Of the twenty-one extant medallions from the hoard known to the present writer, three are of Diocletian, one is of Diocletian and Galerius, three are of Maximian, ten of Constantius Chlorus,73 one is of Galerius and three are of Constantine I. Four are equivalent to 10 aurei (53+ to 54+ grammes), two to 8 aurei (c. 42 grammes), ten to 5 aurei (25+ to 26+ grammes) and two to 4 aurei (20+ to 21+ grammes), while the three Constantinian pieces are equivalent to 9 solidi (40.25 grammes), 2 solidi (8.78 grammes) and 1 1/2 solidi (6.65 grammes) respectively. As we should expect, it is mainly the smaller fry which Fortune has spared to us.

Less imposing than the Arras hoard as regards the number of known medallions which they have yielded, but equally tantalizing, and certainly even more interesting from the point of view of provenance, are the three recent finds on Polish soil. The first of these came to light on the borders of Poland and Russia towards the end of 1927. According to accounts of the discovery the find contained an unspecified number of late Roman gold medallions, a number of fourth-century solidi, a few second- and third-century denarii and other treasure. Of the medallions only one is so far traceable and is now in the Berlin cabinet. This piece is cast, not struck, is furnished with a heavy ring and bears on the obverse busts of Valentinian I and Valens and on the reverse a design identical with those of the two Germanic pieces from Szilágy-Sόmlyό: it is obviously itself also a Germanic piece and must have been produced in the same region as Valens medallions, passing thence northward into Poland.74 Accounts of the second hoard, found at Boroczzce in the district of Horochόw, Volhynia in 1928,75 describe a silver vessel and an earthenware vessel, both filled with Roman denarii, a "gold tablet," which completely disappeared, and one gold medallion, a piece of Jovian, set in a rich and highly ornamental frame of Germanic workmanship, with a ring attached, and now in the Archaeological Museum of Wassaw.76 Apart from the vanished "gold tablet," which might, just conceivably, have been a large gold medallion, there is no suggestion that other medallions came to light at Boroczzce; and according to one of the workmen who discovered the find, so Antoniewicz states, the medallion of Jovian was found at some distance from the two vessels. It is possible, then, that we ought to rank this piece, with the medallions of East Prussian and Danish provenance, as an isolated discovery, not as the sole survivor of a group-find. But in view of what we know about the immediate and mysterious disappearance of large gold pieces from the Arras hoard and elsewhere, we may provisionally leave it in its present context. The third Polish find, made near Kalisch in western Poland in 1927 (according to Alföldi, op. cit., S. 12) or 1928 (according to Antoniewicz, op. cit., S. 26), may be the provenance of a gold medallion of Valentinian I, set in a narrow frame and furnished with a ring, which has now found its way to America (Newell Collection, New York). The Kalisch hoard is said to have also contained a large gold medallion of the fourth century weighing c. 750 grammes, which we may safely conclude to have ended its days in the melting-pot.77

To sum up, we may take it that this series of important hoards sufficiently refutes Gnecchi's notion of the extreme rarity of medallion group-finds. They encourage us, indeed, to look for more. Meanwhile we may hope that some, at least, of the errant pieces from these finds may eventually come to safe harborage in accessible public or private collecions.78

End Notes

1 Neither Grueber's Catalogue of British Museum medallions nor Macdonald's list of the Hunterian medallions at Glasgow (NC 1906) describe a single medallion with find-spot recorded.
2 G III, p. 19, no. 92.
3 G II, tav. 70, no. 1.
4 G II, tav. 73, no. 1.
5 G II, tav. 97, no. 1.
6 The present writer has this on no less an authority than that of Marchese Camillo Serafini, Governor of the Vatican City and Keeper of the Papal Medagliere, who has recently rearranged the Capitoline coin-collection. Cf. P. E. Visconti, BC 1877, pp. 76-80, tavv. 6, 7.
7 G I, p. liii. The statistics which follow are based on the corpus of Roman medallions which the present writer is in process of compiling. She has been at pains to note the find-spot in every case in which a record of it, precise or otherwise, can be traced. While not claiming as yet to have surveyed all existing material, she ventuess to hope that the facts here collected will present a reasonably true picture of how medallion provenances are distributed.
8 G II, p. 90, no. 27.
9 Vide supra p. 57.
10 Valerian and Gallienus: adventvss avgg.
11 C. Serafini, "Saggio intorno alle monete e medaglioni antichi ritrovati nelle Catacombe di Panfilo sulla Via Salaria Vetus in Roma," p. 442 (Scritti in onore di Bartolomeo Nogara raccolti in occasions, del suo lxx anno, 1937).
12 Ibid., p. 440. Cf. Le Grelle, "Saggio storico delle collezioni numismatiche vaticane" in Serafini, Le monete e le bolle plumbee pontificie del medagliere vaticano, vol. I, 1910, pp. lii-liii, nota 2. Excluding the double sestertius of Trajan Decius, listed by Serafini with the rest, the medallions were found as follows:—Commodus (1) in Catacombs of Priscilla, 1803; Commodus (2) in Catacombs of Priscilla;; Commodus (3) in unspecified Catacombs, Oct. 24, 1806; Gordian III in unspecified Catacombs; Philip I in Catacombs of Priscilla, Mar. 20, 1804; Gallienus in Catacombs of Priscilla, April, 1804; Probus in Catacombs of Calepodio, Feb., 1806; Valentinian I in unspecified Catacombs, June, 1804. It is hoped that it may be possibe to identify eventually the remaining five pieces of this group, and the eight other pieces of the first group, by reference to the archives of the Vatican Library.
13 In this connection it is interesting to note the numbers of the bronze medallions which passed to the Vienna cabinet from the collection of the Carthusians in Rome and from the Tiepolo Collection respectively. It seems likely that many of the pieces in the first collection were found in Rome or in the immediate neighborhood; and of these eighty-seven are listed by Kenner in the Vienna Catalogue (Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses Bd. I (1883), S. 61 ff.; Bd. II (1884), S. 54 ff.; Bd. III (1885), S. 11 ff.; Bd. V (1887), S. 12 ff.; Bd. IX (1889), S. 139 ff; Bd. XI (1890), S. 53 ff.). From the Tiepolo Collection Kenner lists fifty-nine medallions; and there is evidence to suggest that a high percentage of the pieces of which that collection was composed were found in the Eastern provinces of the Empire, not, at any rate, in Rome or Italy (ibid. Bd. I, S. 63).
14 Serafini, "Saggio intorno alle monete e medaglioni antichi etc." pp. 421 ff.
15 Ibid., p. 435, nota 1.
16 Vide infra pp. 120 f.
17 Serafini, op. cit., p. 437.
18 Ibid., pp. 439 f.
19 Ibid., pp. 441 f.
20 Ibid., p. 442.
21 Vide supra p. 57.
22 "Notes et souvenirs d'un vieux collectionneur" (RA 1897, pp. 368, 369).
23 Vide infra p. 117.
24 The absence of Spain from our list is due to the fact that Gnecchi's corpus, in which no Spanish provenances are recorded, is the sole source of information regarding the Madrid medallions so far available to the present writer. It seems probable that we should discover some records at least of local medallion finds when the collections in Madrid and other Spanish cities are once more accessible.
25 NC 1841, p. 158. The present location of these pieces is unknown.
26 Walters and Webb Collections Sale Catalogue 1932, Nr. 1047, Taf. 11 (Walters).
27 L. Ružička, "Römische Medaillons im Bukarester Museum" (BMF 1914, Nr. 4). The "deposit" is believed to be actually Moscow!
28 Now at Yale University, New Haven, U. S. A. It seems peculiarly appropriate that a piece bearing the head of Lucius Verus hould have appeared at Dura, since it was his campaigns which marked the end of the Parthian overlordship and the beginning of Roman domination in that city.
29 Vide infra pp. 117 f .
30 G I, p. liii.
31 Loc. Cit., "non si saprebbe a qual regione assegnare una preferenza."
32 The analysis which follows must remain, up to a point, tentative, pending further investigation of material in museums in Spain and North Africa.
33 Loc. Cit., "i medaglioni vengono in luce sempre isolamente."
34 Loc. Cit., "solo si possono citare rare eccezioni per la riunione di alcuni d'oro, come fu ad esempio nel repostiglio di Helleville."
35 See A. Chabouillet, "Observations sur deux médallions d'or de Honorius et de Placide" (RN 1883, pp. 70 ff.) and A. O. van Kerkwijk, "Les médaillons romains en or et la trouvaille de Velp en 1715" (Mémoires du Congrès international de Numismatique, Bruxelles, 1910, pp. 29 ff.). The number of medallions originally contained in this hoard is very uncertain. All the recorded pieces are of Honorius (reverse type = Roma enthroned to front) and Placidia (reverse type = Placidia enthroned to front); and it seems extremely probable that all the examples with these types which passed into the Paris and Hague Cabinets came from Velp. Paris now has two pieces, one of Honorius (mint of Ravenna) and one of Placidia (mint of Ravenna). But it seems that originally Paris had secured two other pieces of Honorius as well, one struck at Ravenna, the other at Milan, both of which were lost in the theft of 1831. Van Kerkwijk reproduces (op. cit., pl. 4, no. 3) the drawing of a lost Paris piece showing the mint-mark md; Berlin possesses the cast of a lost Paris piece with the mint-mark rv (cf. G I, tav. 20, no. 1). Pl. V, 3. The Hague now has two medallions, one of Honorius (mint of Ravenna) and one of Placidia (mint of Ravenna). The second piece of Placidia, which, according to Chabouillet, The Hague once possessed, was, according to van Kerkwijk, exchanged in 1870 by the director of the cabinet for coins of the Netherlands. It came from the collection of Wiliiam V, Prince of Orange, and it is not known what became of it after the exchanger van Kerkwijk suggests that it may be the Paris piece. One account of the Velp discovery describes a "collier" (now vanished) to which five large gold medallions were attached (van Kerkwijk, op. tit., pp. 31, 32). Are these five to be identified with five of our recorded pieces or do they represent five other lost medallions? The British Museum medallion of Honorius with the same type as the Velp pieces has the mint-mark rm (G I, tav. 19, no. 11).
36 E. Babelon, "La trouvaille de Helleville (Manche) en 1780" (RN 1906, pp. 160 ff.). Babelon publishes nine pieces, but it is possible that two medallions of Constantine I, now at The Hague, also came from Helleville: see A. O. van Kerkwijk and E. Babelon, "La trouvaille de Helleville (Manche). Note additionnelle" (RN 1906, pp. 490 ff.). Pl. V, 4-7; PL VI, 1-4.
37 This is the number of gold medallions from Szilágy-Sόmlyό now in the Vienna cabinet. Kenner (op. cit., Bd. IX, S. 140) says that they number fourteen: but this is, apparently, because he has reckoned in (op. cit., Bd. XI, S. 89, Anm. 1) with the pieces from the treasure a gold medallion of Valens (ibid., S. 79, Nr. 356) found, not at Szilágy-Sόmlyό, but, as Kenner himself states, at Eisernes Tor. Steinbϋchel, Notice sur les médaillons romains en or du musée impérial et royal de Vienne (1826), also lists fourteen pieces, as the result of counting as a medallion a simple aureus of Maximian with ring attached (op. cit., p. 20, no. 1, pl. 1, no. 1). Kenner (op. cit., Bd. IX, S. 140) also mentions "andere 10 Medaillions von Valens" found in the treasure along with the Vienna gold medallions: but he does not specify the metal of these ten pieces or give any indication of what became of them. He further states that three more gold medallions of Valens, each weighing 209.4 grammes, were reported as belonging to the find, but could not be verified.
38 Gnecchi cites only three medallions but the hoard contained at least one other (vide infra p. 66 note 67).
39 In trade, Oct., 1938, Mϋnzhandlung Basel.
40 NC 1940, p. 9.
41 R. Zahn, Amt. Berichte aus den preusssischen Kunstsammlungen, Oct. 1916, SS. 10 ff., Abb. 3, 4, 5; Delbrϋck, op. cit., Taf. 19, Nr. 4. Pl. VII.
42 Cited by Gnecchi without mention of provenance, for which see R. Mowat, op. cit., pp. 315, 317.
43 NC 1939, pp. 143 ff. (Pl. XXXII, 2.)
44 The Agri Decumates were lost to the Empire c. 256 to 257.
45 Cited by Gnecchi without mention of provenance, for which see ZN 1885, S. 8, Taf. 1, Nr. 5.
46 R. Mowat, op. cit., pp. 315 f.
47 Cited by Gnecchi without mention of provenance, for which see Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, S. 113, Nr. 4143.
48 Cited by Gnecchi without mention of provenace, for which see Kenner, op. cit., Bd. XI, S. 79, Nr. 356.
49 Cited by Gnecchi without mention of provenance, for which see Kenner, op. cit., Bd. V, S. 42, Nr. 195.
50 Cited by Gnecchi without mention of provenance, for which see Kenner, op. cit., Bd. IX, S. 173, Nr. 271.
51 Cited by Gnecchi without mention of provenance, for which see Kenner, op. cit., Bd. IX, S. 149, Nr. 237.
52 One of these Transylvanian pieces is the great felix adventvs avgg nn medallion in the Beistegui Collection in Paris, cited by Gnecchi without mention of provenance, for which see Maurice II, pp. 238 ff. and E. Babelon, "Un nouveau médallion en or de Constantin le Grand" (Mélanges Boissier, 1903, pp. 49 f.) (Pl. XVII, 11.)
53 Cited by Gnecchi without mention of provenance, for which see note in Vienna cabinet.
54 BMF 1923, S. 429, Taf. 264, Nr. 13. Pl. VI, 5.
55 Cited by Gnecchi without mention of provenance, for which see C. Jörgensen, Mémoires de la Soc. Roy. des Ant. du Nord 1900, p. 319.
56 Not cited by Gnecchi. For provenance see A. W. Brögger>, Kria 1921, p. 47.
57 Cited by Gnecchi without mention of provenance, for which see C. Jörgensen, Mémoires de la Soc. Roy. des Ant. du Nord, 1900, p. 323 and Nordisk Numismatisk Arsskrift 1937, p. 76.
58 Two 2-solidi pieces of Valentinian I and Valens respectively (RN 1866, pp. 113-115), found with twenty-eight solidi.
59 Two small gold adventvs avg medallions of Aurelian (RN 1889, pp. 527-528, pl. 10, nos. 7, 8), found with seven aurei and some jewellery.
60 L. Strauss, FM 1932, S. 384, Nr. 14, Taf. 6, Nr. 8; Mϋnzhandlung Basel Sale Catalogue March 18, 1936, SS. 94, 95, Nrr. 2040, 2041, Taff. 25, 26. Pl. VI, 6, 7.
61 Vide supra p. 62 and note 35. According to A. Chabouillet (op. cit., p. 82) the medallions in this find far outnumbered the aurei.
62 The two Hague pieces, if really from Helleville (vide supra p. 62, note 36), would add another coupe to Constantine's quota.
63 The find also included a number of aurei, eight of which are published by Babelon (op. cit.).
64 A. Alföld, "Nachahmungen römischer Goldmedaillons als germanischer Halsschmuck" (NK 1929-1930, SS. 10 ff.).
65 Vide infra p. 118.
66 G. Elmer, "Ein Fund römischer Goldmϋnzen aus Borča" (NZ 1930, S. 39 ff.). The treasure was found in a field after the winter floods had subsided. Elmer suggests that it represents the contents of a purse which fell into the water during a flood in Roman times.
67 NZ 1891, S. 87 Taf. 4, Nrr. 3, 4; S. 89, Taf. 8, Nr. 1; S. 90. Yet another piece is attributed to the Ó-Szöny hoard by Sir Arthur Evans (NC 1930, p. 242). It is a medallion of Maximian and is said to show the same reverse type as the Diocletianic piece. It cannot, however, be verified from any other source. A number of aurei and denarii were found with the medallions.
68 Aréthuse, Jan., 1924, pp. 45 ff., pls. 7, 8; NNM 28, 1926; NC 1930, pp. 221 ff.; ibid., 1933, pp. 268 ff. It would be irrelevant to our present purpose to attempt here any account of the aurei (originally numbering at least four hundred), silver plate and jewellery found with the medallions or any discussion of the vexed question of the date at which the hoard was deposited (not later than 306, according to Sir Arthur Evans, just before 314, according to A. Baldwin). Pl. VI, 8; Pl. VIII, 1-8; Pl. IX, 1-6.
69 G I, taw. 10, no. 8; II, no. 1. NC 1930, pl. 17, no. 8 shows an aureus of Maximian from the hoard itself with the Emperor in a frontal quadriga on the reverse.
70 G I, tav. 4, no. 7.
71 E. Babelon, Traité des monnaies grecques et romaines, part i, pp. 947, 948, fig. 34; A. Alföldi, ZN 1926, SS. 167 ff., Taf. 11, Nr. 4; A. Evans, NC 1930, pp. 236, 237, fig. 2. Pl. IX, 7.
72 Aréthuse, Jan., 1924, pl. 7. This piece is now scheduled as a national monument of France and is preserved in the Arras Museum. A few others are said to be also at Arras, but this the present writer was unable to verify, as the Arras cabinet was inaccessible to students in 1937-8. Two pieces are in the British Museum nd the rest are scattered about in private collections in Europe and the U. S. A.
73 A. Baldwin (NNM 28, 1926, p. 24) claims that her pl. 3 represents a second specimen from Arras of the medallion of Constantius Chlorus (temporvm felicitas/ptr) published in Aréthuse, Jan., 1924, pl. 8, no. 7. The piece in Aréthuse, which she believes to be at Arras, is, she maintains, struck from dies different from those of the specimen which she figures. But the present writer, after the most minute examination, can trace no difference of dies between Baldwin, pl. 3 and Aréthuse, pl. 8, no. 7. It is true that the details of the obverse come out less sharply in the former than in the latter reproduction, but this could be due to a photographic defect. It would seem that only one piece is in question and that Baldwin, pl. 3 = Aréthuse, pl. 8, no. 7 = Levis Collection Sale Catalogue 1925, pl. 38, no. 977 = NC 1930, pl. 16, no. 6 = Jameson Collection Catalogue IV, pl. 26, no. 528.
74 K. Regling, "Ein Goldmedaillion von 48 solidi" (Amtl. Berichte aus den preussischen Kunstsammlungen 1928, S. 67 ff.); A. Alföldi, NK. 1929-1930, S. 14 ff., Taf. 2, Nr. 1. Alföldi suggests the possibility that this was not a separate hoard and that the medallion came from one of the other Polish finds, at Boroczzce or Kalisch. Pl. X.
75 St. J. Gasiorowski, "Un trésor de l'epoque de la migration des peuples decouvert en Volhynie" (Bulletin international de l' Académie Polonaise des Sciences et Lettres, 1929, nos. 1-3, pp. 27-31). The treasure was found during the construction of a railway between Lwόw and Luck: the remains of what appeared to be a Roman castellum were discovered near by. Cf. E. Petersen, JPEK, 1930, SS. 67-68.
76 Gasiorowski, op. cit.; Delbrϋck, op. cit., SS. 89, 90, Abb. 27; W. Antoniewicz, "Der Fund von Boroczzce" (NK 1929-1930, SS. 26-28, Taf. 1). Pl. XI. Another specimen of this medallion was in Paris before the theft of 1831 (G I, p. 34, no. 1).
77 NK 1929-1930, SS. 12, 26; E. Petersen, op. cit., S. 58, Nr. 5:—"Ein Goldmedaillon von angeblich 750 gr. Gewicht. Es soll auf der einen Seite das Bild eines Reiters getragen haben; nǎheres konnte nicht mehr festge-stellt werden. Angeblich ist das Stϋck nicht mehr vorhanden."
78 According to Alföldi (op. cit., S. 12) Dr. R. Gaettens—Halle, who first acquired the medallion of Valentinian now in the Newell Collection, also acquired at the same time, and possibly from the same source, a small medallion of Constantine II (26 mm, 8.97 grammes), which has since disappeared into trade.



In our initial definition of a Roman medallion as a piece struck for special or solemn commemoration and intended for presentation as a personal gift we have already stated the general purpose of medallion issues. But this general statement obviously involves a number of particular questions concerning the times and seasons at which presentation took place, the events, movements or ideas which the types commemorate or anticipate, the character and status of individual recipients and, finally, the uses to which recipients put their gifts. The more strictly commemorative function of medallions can be best studied on chronological lines; for there we are concerned with pieces of which the types and legends do not immediately proclaim either the moment of their issue or the character of the persons who received them, but in which the choice of types reflects, in a wider and more general way, the thought, interests and history of their age. That aspect of the subject will, therefore, be most conveniently treated as part of our study of the historical development of medallions. For the present we shall concentrate upon the study of occasions and recipients.

I. The New Year.

The familiar Roman custom of making New Year presents (strenae) would in itself have suggested to us one important and obvious occasion of medallion issues. Again, many medallion designs are, as we shall see later, exactly suited in themselves to such a context. But we are able, fortunately, to go beyond plausible conjecture and the subjective evidence afforded by the content of types and to show conclusively, on the objective evidence of legends, that some groups of medallions at least were designed as gifts offered by the Emperor on New Year's Day, whether this was reckoned according to the calendar, or according to the regnal, year.1 We may take as our first and, in a sense, most striking example of these groups a series of New Year medallions of the late second century.

When Commodus perished at the hands of an assassin on December 31, 192, he had just entered, on the 10th of the same month, on his eighteenth tribunician year.2 Apart from one rare denarius3 and a single sestertius,4 no extant coin of Commodus bears that regnal date. This clearly shows that the main issues of new currency for 193 were not yet ready by the end of 192: they would, presumably, have appeared later on in 193, had Commodus survived. But when we turn to his medallions we are confronted with a homogenous group of large bronze pieces of six different types, covering between them thirty-nine extant examples known to the present writer, all bearing on the reverse the date tr p xviii. All allude to the Hercules-Commodus cult and have thus a specially intimate and personal connection with the Emperor: the obverses invariably show the head of Commodus, to right or left, hooded with the Herculean lion-skin and on well-preserved specimens it is quite clear that the Herculean figure on the reverses has the features of Commodus himself. One of these types, that of Hercules-Commodus marking out the sulcus primigenius with a plough drawn by two oxen (herc rom conditori), is a translation onto heavy medallion flans—weighing from 49 + to 96 + grammes and in many cases struck in two metals—of a very rare coin type issued earlier in 1925 and again on the single sestertius dated tr p xviii. But the five other types are quite new and unknown to the regular coinage — Hercules-Commodus standing to front with club and Nemean lion held by the hind legs (hercvli romano avg),6 Hercules-Commodus standing to right, leaning on his club (hercvli romano avg),7 Hercules-Commodus standing to left, leaning on his club (hercvli romano avg),8 Hercules-Commodus standing and seen from behind (hercvli romano avg)9 and Hercules-Commodus seated to right upon a rock (hercvli romano avg).10 The significance of this medallion group is obvious. It demonstrates beyond doubt that medallions of Commodus' eighteenth tribunician year, as distinct from coins, were ready for presentation as New Year gifts either on the eighteenth anniversary of his reception of the tribunician power, December 10, 192, or on January 1, 193, and were actually distributed to the persons destined to receive them, although, if the calendar year is in question, the Emperor himself did not live to see the New Year in.11 We may, indeed, in the latter case legitimately picture the simultaneous arrival, in some instances, of the gift and of the news of the death of the giver. Thus New Years Day, whether December 10, 192, or January 1, 193, was to be the occasion for an intensive boosting of the Hercules-Commodus aspect of the imperial cult, marking the final stage in the identification of Commodus with his "patron saint" as the "Roman Hercules" par excellence. Neither the title hercvles romanvs nor the head of Commodus in lion-skin hood occurs on coins earlier than 192. On the reverses of earlier Hercules medalions12 Commodus and his patron, Hercules Commodianus, are still distinct and on the obverses Commodus has not yet drawn the lion-skin hood over his head, though on one medallion of the seventeenth tribunician year he wears it tied round his neck.13

With these six tr p xviii medallions we must group three others, of which the obverse portraits (head of Commodus wearing lion-skin hood), reverse legends (hercvli romano avgv or avgvst) and general style and structure show them to be contemporary with the tr p xviii pieces, though they are not actually marked with the regnal year. Their reverse designs consist of Herculean attributes—quiver, club, bow (left to righ),14 bow, club, quiver (left to right)15 and club in the centre of the fied.16 Perhaps the six dated medallions were presented on the regnal New Year's Day (December 10), the six undated pieces on that of the calendar (January 1).

The special interest of this group of tr p xviii of Commodus medallions is twofold. In the first place it affords, as we have seen, a clear instance in which medallions were, and coins were not, prepared for release on New Year's Day. In the second place the evidence of the legends, though absolutely conclusive, is, in a sense, indirect. The proof that the New Year, whether of the calendar or of the Emperor, was the occasion of their issue rests solely upon the tribunician date: the legends in themselves do not even suggest it in so many words. In the legends of other groups, however, New Year allusions are more obvious. Of these the most direct are the New Year greetings formulae inscribed within wreaths which are found among medallion reverse types of the second and third centuries. The earliest is a Hadrianic type—s pqr/anff / hadriano / avg p p within an oak (?)-wreath; it occurs on a large bronze medallion in Rome (Gnecchi Collection) and also on a small bronze piece in Paris, indistinguishable from a sestertius in size and weight, but executed in a distinctively medallic style which is clearly differentiated from the common coin style of sestertii with the same type + s c.17 Here we have, of course, depicted the Senate's New Year gift of a wreath to the Emperor and the formula of New Year greeting—"annum faustum felicem"—which accompanied it. The compliment is recorded on the ordinary coinage issued, presumably, at, or soon after, the New Year. But in addition to this the Emperor "returned the compliment," as it were, by striking the type without s c upon medallions, which show a more elaborate obverse portrait and a fine medallic style, as New Year presents from himself for members of the Senate, so we should imagine, in token of his appreciation of their gift. A similar reverse type, combined with two varieties of obverse portrait, was issued in the name of Antoninus Pius, with s p q r/an f f / principi / pio within a laure-wreath.18 The close resemblance of this type to that of Hadrian's medallion has suggested the possibility that both pieces were contemporary, struck to commemorate the inauguration of the Emperors' joint reign on the day of Antoninus' adoption by Hadrian on February 25, 138, the New Year's Day of Antoninus' first, and of Hadrian's last, regnal year.19 Unfortunately there are serious difficulties in the way of our accepting this attractive theory. As its author himself points out, it involves the anticipation by Hadrian of the anniversary of his own accession (August, 117) by more than five months, as well as the assumption by Antoninus of the title "Augustus" during Hadrian's lifetime. Nor did Antoninus bear the title "Pius" at so early a date. Moreover, the correspondence of one of Antoninus' obverse variants with the obverse portrait of a cos ii medallion20 clearly suggests that his New Year pieces were struck in 139, either on the calendar (January 1), or on the regnal (February 25), New Year's Day.21 As for Hadrian's piece, it is possible that we should connect it with the vicennalia celebrations of August, 137, the occasion of a very special regnal New Year's Day, marked, we may assume, by the conveyance of very special greetings from Senate to Emperor. The vota vicennalia are, indeed, recorded on a small bronze medallion, the reverse of which shows vota / svsce / pta in an oak-wreath.22 The type does not occur at all on the aes coinage, but is found on aurei of the period,23 while scenes of sacrifice, accompanied by the legend vota pvblica, appear on contemporary aurei, denarii and sestertii.24 One aureus shows the Genius Senatus and the Genius Populi Romani sacrificing at an altar;25 and our little medallion may well be an acknowledgment both of the gift and of the sacrifice offered on the Emperor's behalf. A second reverse type of Antoninus Pius, combined with two varieties of obverse and struck between 140 and 144, seems to reflect another New Year greeting from Senate to Emperor under the auspicious title of "enricher of citizens"—s pqr/ amplia / tori / civivm with in alauel-wreath.25 A third Antonine reverse type, on a unique medallion at Gotha, unknown to Gnecchi, shows the inscription s c / primi / decen / nales within an oak-wreath,26 a return-gift for the New Year from Emperor to Senate, commemorating the latter's vote of congratulation to the former on the tenth anniversary of his accession, on February 25, 148. Here again, as in the case of the Hadrianic type, Antoninus' medallion pays back, as it were a a compliment also recorded on the regular coinage, for the legend primi decennales cos iii s c occurs on gold, silver and bronze dated tr p xi and tr p xii.27 Inscriptions in wreaths which refer to New Year celebrations introducing new regnal periods reappear on medallions of Gallienus, who, in addition to ordinary coins with such allusions, issued medallic pieces, executed in medallic style and with medallic portraits s showing on the reverse votis / decenna / libvs / s c or votis / decennp / ncipi framed in a laurel-wreath;28 while border-line pieces with spqr/ optimo / principi in a laurel-wreath29 as their reverse design recall Antoninus' s p q r / an f f/ optimo / principi / pio medallion. New Year wishes of a somewhat less formal type are acknowledged in the legend of one more piece in this series of inscription-types, a small, unique bronze medallion of Faustina II in Vienna, poorly preserved, but displaying a distinctively medallic obverse portrait in high relief.30 The reverse bears the inscription domvi / avg / feliciter within a laurel- (or oak ?) wreath. "Feliciter," the Senate's or people's cry of greeting to the imperial House, thus recorded on the medallion of an Empress, suggests New Year wishes of some special significance, perhaps for the imminent arrival of a new inmate of the imperial nursey.31

This more informal type of New Year greeting would again appear to be reflected in the reverse legend of a medallion of Commodus' fifteenth tribunciian year — pio imp omnia felicia p m tr p xv imp viii / cos vi p p. The type accompanying this legend shows Commodus, veiled as a priest, sacrificing to Neptune.32 Felicitas is, indeed, the dominant note struck by three of the four extant medallions issued by Commodus in 189 to 190. Another medallion, with obverse identical with that of one of the sacrifice-to-Neptune variants, bears the reverse legend tempor felicit p m tr p xv imp viii cos vi p p surrounding a winged caduceus between two crossed cornuacopiae—the very attributes of the personification Felicitas and of Mercury as god of luck in commerce.33 The third medallion of our group bears no tribunician date, but the obverse of one of its variants34 is struck from the same die as that of one of the variants of the tr p xv medallion with the processus consularis as reverse type35 and is therefore most likely to be contemporary with it. The reverse of this third medallion shows the legend votis felicibvs and a complicated harbor scene, with Commodus sacrificing to Serapis, who is seen on board ship in the harbor.36 It is clear that the felicitas desired for the pious Emperor concerns the sea. As Alföldi has already pointed out,37 the sacrifice to Neptune and the offering at the harbor to Serapis, co-protector with Isis of navigators obviously suggests some reference to the ceremonies of the Ploiaphesia or navigium Isidis, when the sacred ship was launched and prayers were offered at the opening of the sailing season on March 5. At first sight, indeed, it would seem that our felicitas medallions, if they were New Year gifts, as the legend of one of them at least implies, were presented on March 5, the sea-farers' New Year's Day. On the other hand the close connection already noted between the vota felicia and processus consularis medallions, of which the latter were presented on January 1,38 distinctly suggests that all four were struck for presentation at the calendar New Year. Moreover, the rites depicted on the medallions of Commodus are not those described by Apuleius as offered on March 5 by the heterogeneous devotees of Isis. They are public vows, offered by the Emperor himself; and this at once suggests an official, state connection between the cult of Isis as patroness of shipping and the imperial vows or vota publica of January 3.39 The January dating is further suggested by a series of medallions struck a century later, on which these ceremonies reappear. A large bronze piece of Diocletian, minted at Siscia, bears the same legend votis felicibvs as does the medallion of Commodus and a similar scene of an imperial sacrifice at a harbo.40 On the obverse the Emperor wears consular dress, pointing to the processus consularis and the calendar New Yea.41 Again, five small bronze medallions of the period show on their reverses Isis and Serapis, accompanied by the legend vota pvblica. Diocletian and Maximian each have a piece with the reverse type of Isis and Serapis in a ship and the obverse legends d n diocletiano felicissimo sen avg and d n maximiano felicissimo sen avg respectively,42 the title "felicissimus" forming a link with the vota felicia of Diocletian's harbor-scene medallion and the felicitas allusions of Commodus types. For Diocletian we have also a piece with the type of Isis and Neptune standing confronted and the obverse legend iovi diocletiano avg;43 and we may tentatively postulate the existence of a lost piece of Maximian with the same reverse type and the corresponding legend hercvli maximiano avg. The two remaining medallions are of Constantius Chlorus and Galerius respectively, as Augusti, both with the Isis-and-Neptune reverse type.44 These small medallions are in their turn closely associated with the fourth-century coins of the vota publica (the main theme of Alföldi's study) struck for the official Roman Isis-festival on January 3. And so we may assign Commodus' tr p xv New Year medallions, with the echoes of New Year greetings in their legends, to January 190. All good luck (omnia felicia) to the pious Emperor, for with his luck (felicitas) and his "lucky" vows (vota felicia), offered for fair sailing to the seamen's patrons, are linked the fortunes of sea-borne trade in the Roman world—trade, symbolized on the second medallion of Commodus by the caduceus of Mercury, patron of commerce, while the cornuacopiae stand for the rich (felix) fruits of the seasons (tempora) brought safely to port.45 All our extant medallions of Commodus with the tr p xv date were, then, issued for the calendar New Year, a fact which decidedly weights the balance in favor of the calendar, rather than the regnal, New Year as the occasion for which the tr p xviii series was issued.

Until the beginning of the fourth century direct allusions on medallions to the imperial New Year vota (apart from the vota-inscriptions in wreaths and the Isis-festival group described above) are comparatively scarce. With a few exceptions, all the extant vota publica medallions appear to be connected, not with calendar, but with regnal, New Year's Days; while the majority of vota types offer a more or less objective representation of the actual scene of imperial sacrifice. The series begins with Antoninus Pius. A small and sadly worn medallion in Paris 46 bears the date tr p xii (December, 148 to December, 149)47 on the obverse and on the reverse Pius and Marcus Aurelius sacrificing before a temple, with vota in the exergue. We might ascribe the issue of this piece to December 10, 148, the New Year's Day according to the new tribunician reckoning which followed the celebration of the decennalia on February 25, 148. Next comes a large medallion with vota in the exergue, s c in the field and Pius offering sacriiice.48 The piece is undated, but as Strack has observed,49 it shares an obverse type with two medallions marked tr pot xxi 50 and can therefore be assigned to the year December, 157 to December, 158. The occasion of the issue was, presumably, Pius vicennalia, solemnized with special pomp, as the abundance of vicennalia coin types testifies, on the twentieth anniversary of his accession, February 25, 158. Two more vota types of Pius were struck in honor of the same occasion. Both are marked tr p xxii, which suggests the tribunician New Year's Day, December 10, 158, as the date of their issue, reiterating, as it were, nine months later the message of the s c vota medallion, just as the small vota piece had reiterated that of the s c primi decennales medallion ten years before. Each piece bears on the reverse an almost identical scene of sacrifice, one with the legend vot solvta dec ii / cos iiii 51— marking the completion of the second of the Emperor's periods of ten regnal years, the other with the legend vot svscepta dec iii / cos iiii 52—marking the inauguration on the same, or on the succeeding, day of his third decennium. With these two last New Year scenes of sacrifice we must group the lvd dec / cos iiii medallions of Pius, also dated tr p xxii, the reverse type of which shows the Emperor distributing prizes, displayed on an agonistic table, for the decennial games.53

Several medallions with the vota-sacrifice reverse type were issued by Marcus Aurelius. These fall into two groups. Unfortunately the extant specimens of the first group, which bear the legend vota pvblica and show Marcus sacrificing in front of a temple, are all in such poor condition that the exact dates of some are hard to determine, owing to the illegibility of their reverse legends.54 But by comparing the obverse types of the four variants in the group with those of other medallions clearly marked tr p xxii, we may safely assign them all to that date, that is to say to December 10, 167. This date is, of course, too late to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of Marcus' reception of the tribunician power, the second anniversary of which was reckoned as falling on December 10, 147.55 Why, then, did Marcus choose this particular year, 167, for issuing medallions on the occasion of his December New Year vows? Probably because a northern campaign, the expeditio Germanica prima, was in the offing, and in anticipation of this the regnal New Year's Day of 167 may well have been celebrated with a "special intention." Marcus and his imperial colleague actually left for the northern front about the end of the year. Earlier in the year this campaign had been heralded by vota coins dated tr p xxi.56 Marcus' second vota medallion group appeared exactly ten years later. One medallion, struck in Marcus' own name, is dated tr p xxxii (December, 177 to December, 178) and shows the legend vota pvblica accompanying an elaborate sacrificial scene with a temple in the background.57 The second medallion, struck for the young Commodus in two variants, shows the same legend and an almost identical type and is dated tr p iii (December, 177 to December, 178).58 Again, December 10,177, is too late a date to coincide with Marcus' thirtieth regnal anniversary; but again the choice of these particular vows as an occasion for medallion issues can be explained by the fact that he was already planning a second campaign in the north, the expeditio Germanica secunda, for the summer of 178. Four sets of vota coins issued during the years 177 and 178 attest the serious character of this northern war.59 The last second-century vota medallion type was struck by Commodus, with reverse legend vota pvblica and the usual sacrificial scene. It is dated tr p x and we may assign it to December 10, 184, the regnal New Year's Day on which Commodus entered upon his tenth tribunician year.60

For the century which elapsed between Commodus and Diocletian we have eight medallions with types directly alluding to imperial vota and two others on which such reference is possible. The earliest of these is a bronze piece of Caracalla, issued in 207, which depicts Victory standing, surrounded by nine Cupids, and inscribing vota xx on a shield.61 Medallions of gold and bronze struck in 230 for Alexander Severus and for Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea show the Emperor seated, crowned by Victory and accompanied by Virtus (?), who holds a shield inscribed vot / x.62 A bronze piece of Philip I, Otacilia and Philip II bears the legend victoriae avgvstorvm and the type of two Victories holding up a shield inscribed votis or votis / x.63 These Victory types of Caracalla and Philip represent the first appearance on medallions of what was to become the most popular motif for vota coins and medallions in the fourth century—that of Victory, or two Victories, holding the vota shield or wreath. Two small gold pieces of Gallienus show scenes of imperial sacrifice which may allude to vota. One is dated tr p ii, suggesting the first anniversary of the Emperor's accession as its occasion.64 Owing to some blunder, the dates of obverse and reverse on the second piece conflict, but the obverse date, 263, suggests Gallienus' decennaia.65 A small bronze medallion of Tacitus, with reverse legend votis x et xx, shows the Emperor standing, grouped with Virtus (?) and Victory, whose shield is inscribed vot / is / xx.66 As Tacitus' reign lasted only six months he was previous with his accession prayers for twenty years of rule. Florian issued a large bronze medallion on which he is portrayed with Mars (?), Roma (?) and two turreted women and the auspicious legend resti-tvtor saecvli / vot x.67 The Victory-andshieldd motif reappears upon the three remaining pre-Diocletianic vota medallions, on a bronze piece of Probus, with two Victories holding a shield inscribed votis / x,68 on a gold piece of Probus, with two Victories suspending a shield inscribed vot / x upon a palm-tree69 and on a gold piece of Carus and Carinus, with two Victories holding a shield inscribed votis / x.70

Vota celebrations of the period of the Tetrarchies are recorded on a splendid series of gold medallions with elaborate and realistic scenes. The earliest, struck for Maximian, shows him sacrificing with his colleague Diocletian: the legend, concordia avgg et caess, suggests that it was issued for the regnal New Year's Day in 293 on which Constantius Chlorus and Galerius were appointed Caesars and the first Tetrarchy thereby formed.71 A medallion of Diocletian from the Arras hoard bears the legend felicitas temporvm and the two Augusti, accompanied by Felicitas, sacrificing—an obvious allusion to the vicennalia of Diocletian in 303.72

Four medallions of Constantius Chlorus, one as Caesar and three as Augustus, complete the series. The first of these, known from two variants, both from Arras, has the legend temporvm felicitas / caess xiii coss v and a scene in which the two Augusti, nimbate and surrounded by the usual entourage, offer sacrifice in front of a temple. The year of issue is 305, in the May of which Constantius and Galerius were appointed Augusti: the vota depicted must, then, be those of January, 305, when the two Caesars entered upon their fifth consulship.73 May 1, Constantius' first New Year's Day as Augustus, is commemorated by a vivid scene on a second medallion. The reverse bears the legend concordia avgg et caess and portrays the actual abdication of Maximian in Constantius' favor: Maximian (right) hands the globe of sovereignty to Constantius (left); and the xx in a wreath between the two figures shows that the abdication took place at the very moment when Maximian was due to celebrate his vicennlia.74 The two other pieces of Constantius, both from Arras, portray other ceremonies of the same New Year's Day. On both we find the legend temporvm felicitas and a scene of imperial sacrifice before a temple. One shows the two new Augusti sacrificing amid a crowd of attendants,75 while on the other the two new Augusti and the two new Caesars co-celebrate unaccomanied.75a

With the early years of the fourth century, however, these vivid pictures of actual New Year ceremonies vanish completely. Interest is now concentrated almost entirely upon the vota numbers themselves, human figures being, in most cases, merely subsidiary. These figures, moreover, are no longer imperial personagss actively engaged upon the celebrations but allegorical figures, for the most part, of a symbolic and subjective character—Victories, Genii, personifications of cities and the like. A few vota medallion types of the period are, indeed, unusual and distinctly picturesque. One shows three Emperors enthroned to the front with vot v inscribed either on the footstool of the central figure or in the exergue (Constans). Others show two graceful winged Genii (symbols of fertility and prosperity ?) holding a long garland and accompanied by the legend votis decenn etc. (Constantine II as Caesar)76 or supporting between them a wreath framing vota numbers (Constantius II), in one case with circumference legend felicia decennalia (Constans).77 Sometimes Roma and Constantinopolis are seated with the vota shield between them (Constantius II) or Roma sits alone with a vota shield resting on a cippus (Constantius II). But far more commonly the shield inscribed with, or the wreath framing, the vota numbers is in the charge of Victories—of two Victories, standing,78 or of a single Victory, seated79 or standing,80 sometimes accompanied by a genius, who supports the shield. In one case Victory drives in a quadriga with the vota legend around (Constantine I). The Constantinian group of four silver pieces with the vota formula in full (vota orbis et vrbis sen et p r, with xx/xxx/avg or xx/xxx/mvl/fel) has already been described.81 The remaining types consist of vota numbers inscribed within a wreath82 or written across the field or of the formulae sic x sic xx etc. framed in wreath.83 It seems a far cry from these formal and conventional vota types, many of them shared with the regular coinage, to the vivid New Year greetings of the second century and to the realistic scenes of New Year ceremonies issued under the Tetrarchies.

Another group of New Year medallions consists of pieces of which the legends and types show them to have been struck for presentation on January 1 of those years in which the Emperor, or Caesar, himself assumed the consulship. The majority of such medallions show a reverse type directly alluding to the consulship, combined with the presence, on obverse or reverse, of the tribunician number of a year of which one consul is known to have been that Emperor, or Caesar, whose portrait the obverse bears. In other cases, where the tribunician date is not given, the nature of the type, together with the prominence assigned to the consular date, make it, at the least, extremely probable that the year of issue was that in which the consulship in question was first assumed. In other cases again, where the type itself is not directly consular in character, the emphatic position on the reverse of the consular date leaves little room for doubt that the imperial entry upon this office was the occasion for which the piece was struck. And there are also a few medallions of which the legends show that the consular allusions in their reverse types were inspired, not by the issuing Emperor's assumption of office, but by that of his heir or colleague in imperial power.

With a few exceptions, the reverse types of medallions of this group depict, in varying ways, the actual processus consularis of the Emperor to the Capitol on New Year's Day. It is well known that under the Empire the pomp and pageantry reserved for triumphs in earlier times were extended to the ceremonies attending the consul's entry upon office.84 The processus consularis was, in other words, closely assimilated to the processus triumphalis; so that, legends and dates apart, it would often be hard to decide from the processional type itself whether it was as consul or as triumphator that the Emperor was portrayed. For example, the eagle-topped consular ivory sceptre is often combined with other accessories of a definitely triumphal character, while the triumphator's branch occurs as an imperial attribute in processional scenes which are otherwise purely consular. Tribunician dates and emphasis upon the consulship in the legends are the decisive criteria; and from these it emerges that, with two exceptions,85 all processional scenes on medallions86 can be safely interpreted as primarily consular, although not a few contain secondary references to victories and triumphs of the previous year.

While the processus triumphalis is by no means uncommon as a coin type from Augustus to Trajan, we have no certain coin representation of the imperial processus consularis earlier than the reign of Antoninus Pius.87 Aurei of 140 show as reverse type Pius in a quadriga to left, holding the eagle-topped sceptre and accompanied by the two princes Marcus and Verus, with cos iii in a prominent position at the top of the design.88 The Emperor's colleague in the consulship for that year was, indeed, the young Marcus, consul for the first time, and for him Pius issued a "framed" medallion, of which the reverse type shows the Caesar riding in a quadriga to left and holding a branch, while the obverse legend reads avrelivs caesar avg pii f cos.89 For his entry upon his fourth consulship in 145 Pius struck medallions with his own portrait and cos iii on the obverse and the consular procession on the reverse—the Emperor in a quadriga to left, holding the eagle-topped sceptre and accompanied by the two prince.90 The close connection between consular and triumphal processions is well illustrated by a pair of medallions issued by Marcus Aurelius in 167. One of these, with the portrait of Marcus on the obverse, shows Marcus and Verus in a quadriga to right, each holding a branch, while Virtus leads the horses, and a trophy with captives is borne along on a platform by soldiers in the background: the legend in the exergue reads tr p xxi imp iiii/cos iii.91 Here is an obvious allusion to the Emperors' triumph in the autumn of 166, after the eastern campaigns. But, unlike the sestertii of 166 with medic added to the obverse titles and tr pot xx on the reverse,92 the medallion does not depict the processus triumphalis. A twin medallion issued for Lucius Verus shows precisely the same reverse type, but with the procession moving towards the left, In the exergue we read tr p vii imp mi/cos m, proving beyond doubt that both pieces were struck for Verus' entry upon his third consulship on January 1,167.93 Marcus, although his own consulship was not renewed that year, rides beside Verus in the consular car by virtue of the recent celebration of their joint triumph. A parallel pair of medallions were issued ten years later, this time for Marcus and Commodus. Marcus' piece, dated tr p xxxi, shows Marcus and Commodus, each holding an eagle-topped sceptre, in a quadriga to left, while Virtus leads the horses and Victory floats in the air above: the exergue legend reads imp viii cos ill /p p.94 Commodus' medallion shows the same scene, apart from the fact that the Emperors each hold a branch, while the legend in the exergue reads tr pot cos.95 Both were issued for Commodus entry upon his first consulship on January 1,177, with a secondary allusion to the triumph for the Germanic and Sarmatian victories held on December 23, 176, when Commodus shared his father's honors.96

Processional types dating from the accession of Commodus to the reign of Elagabalus are purely processional in character. They show simple scenes of the Emperor in his quadriga, holding consular sceptre or branch, without secondary triumphal references in the shape of trophies or figures of Victory. Two were struck for Commodus entry upon his fifth and sixth consulships, in 18697 and 19098 respectively. One was issued for Geta's first consulship in 205, with cos in solitary prominence upon the reverse;99 while the third consulship of Caracalla in 208100 and of Elagabalus in 220101 were similarly commemorated. More complicated designs reappear under Alexander Severus, who struck medallions for each of the three occasions on which he assumed the consulship. A gold piece issued for the first consulship on January 1, 222 shows the Emperor alone in his chariot, holding sceptre and branch.102 On a bronze medallion of 226, the year of the second consulship, Victory stands in the car behind the Emperor and crowns him.103 But for January 1, 229, when Alexander assumed his third consulship, with the historian Dio Cassius as his colleague, medallions were struck showing three different variations on the processus consularis theme. In the first case Victory stands in the car with Alexander and crowns him.104 In the second, the Emperor holds neither sceptre nor branch, but a globe in one hand and a Victory carrying a trophy on the other.105 In the third case Emperor and Victory stand together in a chariot shown, not from the side, as heretofore, but as practically,106 or completely,107 frontal—the first appearance, in fact, of the frontal chariot motif in imperial art,108 while Virtus and Mars lead the two outermost horses of the team. Some of the obverses combined with these reverse types show the bust of the Emperor wearing consular dress and holding the eagle-sceptre, a style of obverse portrait now introduced upon medallions for the first time. The medallion struck for Maximinus' consulship in 236 returns to the profile view of the procession: Victory, Virtus and the soldiers, who accompany it, suggest the victories gained in Germany during the winter of 235.109

For the period extending from 239 to 248 we have a complete series of medallions corresponding to each occasion of an imperial consulship; and in every case the consular date is set out prominently, as though to catch the eye, in the exergue of the reverse design. Gordian III inaugurated his first consulship, held in 239, with the simple processional type of the Emperor holding the eagle-sceptre, in a quadriga.110 This he repeated for his second consulship in 241,111 but he issued at the same time two new and more elaborate compositions with triumphal elements—Victory, Virtus, Mars and soldiers with palms: in one of these types the frontal chariot reappears.112 Under Gordian's successor, Philip, consular medallions may be said to reach their peak. No less than ten different types commemorate the three occasions on which he assumed the consul's office— in 245 with Titianus, in 247 and 248 with the younger Philip, as his colleague. The medallions issued for January 1, 245 repeat, with some minor variations, one of the types of Gordian's second consuship.113 On January 1, 247 Philip II obtained both the rank of Augustus and the office of consul for the first time; and a bronze medallion issued in his name shows the joint processus consularis of father and son in a quadriga to left with Victory and the father's consular date—cos ii—in the exergue.114 A piece with busts of Philip I, Otacilia and Philip II on the obverse shows the procession frontally, with Victory, Virtus and Mars in attendance and cos ii in the exergue;115 and this, too, is the type employed for another medallion with the three obverse busts—our first instance among medallions of a true processus triumphalis, with reverse legend victoriae avgvstorvm and no mention of the consulship, commemorating the Germanic victories of 246 to 247.116 Five medallions were issued for the second joint consulship of Philip I and Philip II in 248. A bronze piece of Philip II, with his father's cos iii in the exergue, shows the quadriga to left.117 A gold piece of Philip I has the frontal chariot, accompanied by Victory, Virtus and Mars;118 and a bronze medallion of Philip I, Otacilia and Philip II in a private collection in Liege shows the same design, except that Philip II stands in the car to the right, facing his father. By far the most interesting of the 248 medallions is an exceptionally fine piece in Paris, also of Philip I, Otacilia and Philip II.119 It shows a quadriga to left with Victory in the car, bending down and inviting Philip I and Philip II to mount. Both Emperors are togate and one, at least, holds a short sceptre. Above their heads hovers Mars; and in front of the chariot wheel two captives are seated. The circumference legend reads germ max carpici max; and the stage seems to be set for a triumph scene in honor of Philip's recent victories over the Goths. But the emphatically consular exergue legend—iii et ii cos, combined with the Emperors consular dress and attribute, leaves us in no doubt that the triumphal allusions are secondary and that the type depicts, not the processus triumphalis, but the processus consularis, just due to start. Finally, it seems reasonable to suppose that of the medallions of Otacilia with the busts of her husband and son as reverse type, those at least which bear the exergue legend iii et ii cos (and they are far more numerous than those without it), were issued for presentation on January 1, 248.120

During the second half of the third century the output of consular medallions, though fairly continuous, is far less abundant, relatively, than at earlier periods. A bronze piece of Trebonianus Gallus and Volusianus, issued for the former's second and for the latter's first, consulship in 252, shows a remarkable composition—a frontal chariot, drawn by six horses, in which the Emperors stand facing, the senior consul holding the triumphator's branch, while Victory hovers between them with wings outspread, crowning both at once. Virtus and Mars, as usual, guide the team, while the legend reads pontif max tr p ii cos ii / et cos.121 Here the triumphal details are purely conventional, for defeats, not victories, had preceded this particular New Year's Day. For his own fourth, and Gallienus third, consulship in 257 Valerian struck a bronze medallion showing a frontal quadriga, in which he stands with his two sons and Victory; the legend is felicitas temporvm—a New Year wish—with iiii et hi cos conspicuous in the exergue below.122 The pieces issued for Gallienus' entry upon his fifth (262) and sixth (264) consulships show the simplest version of the processus consularis, with the imperial bust in consular dress on the obverse;123 while an interesting piece struck for January 1, 268, when Marinianus, the Emperor's third son and destined successor, assumed the consulship, shows Gallienus, crowned by Victory, in the car, carrying the sceptre for the youthful consul, to whom a flying genius offers a wreath (xx cos . . . marini-ano).124 Probus issued medallions for his second consulship (278) with frontal chariot (imp probvs cons ii)125 and for his fourth consulship (281) with profile chariot and palm-bearers in attendance (probvs p f avg / cos iiii).126 The medallion struck for his fifth consulship (282) is more ambitious, both in legend and in design. The legend reads gloria orbis / cos v and the Emperor appears in a six-horse frontal chariot, accompanied by Mars, Virtus and four figures with pams.127 Probus' triumph, celebrated in Rome at the end of 281, has obviously lent color to this processus consularis. Twin medallions, with reverse legend p m tri p cos p p / s c, were issued by Carinus in 283128 and by Numerianus in 284129 respectively, the first with Carinus, consul for the first, and Carus, consul for the second, time in a quadriga to right, the second piece with Numerianus, consul for the first, and Carinus, consul for the second, time. And here we may note, by way of contrast, the second of our two medallic representations of the processus triumphalis on a piece struck for Numerianus in 283 to 284. Carus and Numerianus stand in a profile quadriga, accompanied by Victory and a trophy with captives, carried by soldiers, while two more captives are seated in the exergue. The legend reads trivmfv qvador: no mention is made of the consulship; and the occasion would appear to be a belated triumph for Carus' defeat of the Quadi in 282.130

One bronze medallion of Maximian, struck for his first consulship in 287, shows the by now familiar frontal quadriga with its usual entourage.131 The remaining consular types of the Diocletianic and Constantinian periods, however, break boldly away from the conventional processus consularis tradition. January 1, 287 was, indeed, a notable date in Maximians's career. Not only did it see him consul for the first time, but this was his first New Year's Day since Diocletian had taken him into partnership—a day rendered all the more auspicious by his recent military successes against the Bagaudae in Gaul. On that day, too, Diocletian entered upon his third consulship; and he issued for this occasion, in his own name and in that of his colleague, some remarkable gold medallions, of which two examples, worth ten and five aurei respectively,132 have come down to us. The obverse of these pieces bears the legend impp diocletiano et maximiano avgg and busts of the two Augusti in rich consular dress. On the reverse we read impp diocletiano et maximiano cess and the type shows a novel version of the processus consularis theme—a frontal chariot drawn, not by horses, but by four elephants, with palm-bearers in attendance.133 Thus elephants, associated heretofore with triumphs or consecrations, now have their place in the consular processions as well and may, in actual fact, have drawn the consular car. On the occasion of his sixth consulship in 296 Diocletian struck a 2 1/2-aurei medallion with the legend consvl vi p p procos and the imperial consul standing in his official dress, a globe in his right hand and a sceptre in his left.134 After this we have no other consular issues until 320, when Constantine I, entering upon his sixth consulship, struck a 2 1/2-solidi medallion with a reverse legend similar to that on Diocletian's piece—p m trib p cos vi p p procos, accompanying a portrait of himself as consul, seated on a curule chair with globe and sceptre.135 Six years later, in 326, Constantine was consul again for the seventh time, with his son, Constantius Caesar, consul for the first time, as his colleague. To this occasion we may safely attribute the 2-solidi pieces, issued at the mint of Trier, with the young Caesar as consul on the obverse and on the reverse the legend aeterna gloria senat p q r and a frontal elephant-quadriga, in which father and son, both nimbate, stand side by side.136 A similar, and almost certainly contemporary, version of the processus consularis appears upon the 4 1/2-solidi medallion at Stockholm, also issued at the Trier mint, with Constantine's own portrait, as consul, on the obverse and on the reverse a frontal elephant-quadriga, containing the Emperor, crowned by Victory, and accompanied by the legend innvmeri trivmfi avg n, which is quite general in its significance and cannot be associated with any particular triumh.137 With a bronze piece of Constans, showing the imperial bust in consular dress on the obverse and the Emperor standing togate, with short sceptre and branch (?), on the reverse, our series of consular medallions ends.138

So far we have been dealing with medallions of which the date alone, or the date supported by the content of the legend, or the legend alone, undated, or the date, legend and reverse type all combined, prove conclusively that they were imperial strenae, struck for distribution on New Year's Day. The number of such pieces, which thus admit of no alternative theory of the occasion of their issue, is, as we have seen, considerable; and in view of this we may reasonably attribute to the same occasion other pieces, which, if they are not certainly New Year gifts, bear types at least suggestive of New Year thoughts, hopes and aspirations. At the same time, the Hercules medallions of Commodus' eighteenth tribunician year will remind us that many other pieces, besides those with reverse designs which directly convey such "compliments of the season," may well have been issued for presentation at the New Year.139

One recurrent theme which we have noted on exclusively New Year medallions is that of felicitas—annum felicem, feliciter, omnia felicia, temporum felicitas combined with attributes of Felicitas, vota felicia, felicissimus Augustus, felicitas temporum or temporum felicitas combined with a scene of sacrifice and felicia decennalia. It would seem, then, not unnatural to ascribe to New Year's Day the issue of the numerous pieces on which the figure of Felicitas herself occurs, whether alone or in a group with other figues.140 Again, we may recognize New Year allusions in the fort feli medallion of Commodus' fourteenth tribunician year (188 to 189) with Fortuna standing, the caduceus of Felicitas in her hand and her foot set on the prow of a ship— corn ship, it may be, hinting at New Year promises for the annona;141 and in Julia Domna's piece with the legend fortvnae felici, showing Fortuna seated, with Spes on a column on the right and on her left a naked boy offering her three corn-ears.142

The legend temporvm felicitas has also a particular connotation, namely that of the "kindly fruits of the earth" brought forth in due season by Nature's bounty or the toil of man—a context at once suggestive of a New Year wish. Thus, on a medallion of Commodus, we find the legend combined with the seated figure of Pomona (?) holding corn-ears and poppies and surrounded by children gathering grapes.143 Normally, however, this legend accompanies a group of four young—almost baby—boys bearing attributes of the Seasons—an engaging composition, obviously attractive to Roman taste, for it constantly recurs on medallions of Hadrian,144 Antoninus Pius, Faustina II, Commodus and Annius Verus, Commodus, of Trebonianus Gallus, Probus, Carus and Carinus, where the legend appears in a different version as saecvli felicitas,145 and of Licinius II, where the legend reads felicia tempora.146 This Four Seasons type as first introduced was exclusively medallic: until the time of Commodus it was never shared with the regular coinage.147 An unusual version of the theme is found on a medallion of Marcus Aurelius as Caesar with the legend temporvm felicitas and showing Hercules, complete with club and trophy, drawn along in a chariot by four Centaurs, who carry symbols of the Seasons.148 Hercules' victory over the Centaurs symbolizes the victory of good over evil in general: the forces of evil are subdued and harnessed to the service of good and good times begin for the world in general and for agriculture in particular.149

New year wishes for a fruitful and prosperous New Year are again implied by another popular and specifically medallic type, first issued on a medallion of Antoninus Pius, which portrays the Four Seasons in a more elaborate contex.150 On the left stands a half-draped male figure holding a short sceptre in his left hand and resting his right hand upon the top of an oval frame, from which four young girls, draped and holding attributes of the Seasons, are about to emerge:151 on the right, facing this group, stands a naked putto, supporting on his shoulders a well-stocked cornucopiae, symbol of Felicitas; he may represent the infant year.152 That the frame is the zodiac frame, although the twelve signs are not actually visible upon it, is certain. The Parabiago patera at Milan (Brera Gallery) shows an identical half-draped and sceptred figure, standing in this case within, and grasping with his right hand, an oval frame on which the signs are clearly rendered;153 while the mosaic from Sentinum at Munich shows the same zodiac frame grasped by a similar, but naked and sceptreless, personage standing inside it.154 This figure, whether he be naked or draped and placed inside or outside the frame, we may interpret as the Genius Anni or Genius Saeculi,155 presiding over the yearly cycle of the seasons, which are portrayed on the patera as four little boys in a row, closely resembling their medallic counterparts, and in the mosaic as four male children clustering round Tellus in the lower part of the design. Pius' medallion is dated tr pot xx (December, 157 to December, 158). On February 25, 158, Pius solemnized his vicennalia; and his Genius Saeculi medallion may have been struck for January 1, 158, with this coming celebration in view; or possibly, like the contemporary vota medallions, for the actual anniversary day of the Emperor's accession as inaugurating another series, or saeculum, of "happy New Years." The corresponding medallions of Commodus are dated tr p x 156 and these, too, are contemporary with vota medallions struck for an accession anniversary, Commodus' fifth, on March 17, 185. What is the relation between the Emperor who issued these medallions and the Genius Saeculi portrayed upon them? A reverse type common to three later medallions, struck for Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea, Gordian III and Tacitus respectively, offers a clue. The type shows the Emperor, togate, in the centre, seated to the front upon a large star-bespangled globe: he holds a short sceptre in his left hand, while his right hand rests upon a zodiac frame with four little draped figures of the Seasons emerging from it. Victory crowns the Emperor, and behind the frame stands a half-draped figure holding a scepre.157 In this later type the Genius Saeculi presiding over the cycle of the seasons is indisputably the Emperor himself, enthroned upon the globe as cosmocrator, master, not only of a world-wide Empire, but of the world of Nature herself, including the orbis anni and the stars which are the seasons' signs.158 As for the figure standing behind the frame, we may interpret him as the purely abstract personification of the saeculum, who has, as it were, abdicated in favor of the concrete, earthly ruer.159 On the medallions of Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea and of Gordian III this type is accompanied by the familiar New Year wish temporvm felicitas, on the medallion of Tacitus by the legend aeternitas avg, suggesting, perhaps, a Happy New Year that is never to end.160 To return to the earlier type of Pius and Commodus, we may, in the light of these later pieces, see in the central figure both Genius and Emperor, abstract and concrete, as it were, in one; and this conflation of Genius and Emperor would seem to offer the true explanation of a curious medallion type issued by Hadrian without accompanying legend. The three extant specimens are all in poor condition, but the general content of the type is clear. It shows a half-draped male figure seated to the front within a zodiac frame, which he grasps with his raised right hand. Above, below and to right and left of the design, just outside the frame, are four little draped figures, closely akin to those of the Seasons in our medallion type of Pius and Commodus.161 Gnecchi interprets the seated figure as Juppiter-Tajan;162 Strack sees in him Hadrian as the New Augustus or as the τρισχαιόέχατος θεός, enthroned in the centre of the twelve "Monatsherrscher."163 But clearly we should identify the figure as Hadrian-Geniuss Saeculi and assign the medallion a place in our New Year series. The obverse legend and portrait are those of the 123 to 128 issue; and what New Year's Day occasion could be found more suitable to such a piece than Hadrian's decennalia, celebrated on August 11, 127, of which Strack finds no trace upon the coinage,164 but to which Mattingly sees an allusion in the globe commonly found in the exergue of denarii of this time?165 The medallion may have been issued for the accession New Year's Day itself or for one, or both, of the calendar New Year's Days which preceded and followed the August celebrations. Hadrian, then, was responsible for the first type of the Emperor-Genius Saeculi medallion series. The last type of the series appears on gold medallions of Probus, which repeat the type of Pius and Commodus and bear the legend temp felcitas.166

The Four Seasons occur as a medallion motif in other New Year contexts besides that of the zodiac. Large bronze medallions of Julia Mamaea and Salonina bear the legend abvndantia temporvm and show the Empress as Abundantia, seated and pouring out the contents of a cornucopiae in the direction of four small boys, obviously the Seasons, who stand with outstretched hands to receive her bounty. She is attended by Liberaitass (?) and Felicitas (?), while the rudder of Fortuna, on whose smiles the success of each New Year depends, leans against her throne.167 Again, the procession of the Seasons round the globe, or orbis anni, is portrayed on the tellvs stabil medallions of Hadrian and Commodus.168 There the Four Seasons appear as girls and the globe of Tellus is spangled with stars. Four of Commodus' pieces are dated tr p xii (186 to 187) and may thus be connected with his vota soluta decennalia,169 while the obverse of one of the variants, which bears the jugate busts of Commodus and Janus, at least suggests that it was issued for presentation on "Janus' Day" at the calendar New Year. The Seasons appear once more in association with Tellus, shown this time without her globe, on a medallion of Pius; here they figure as little boys again, sporting round Tellus, who reclines in a cave (?) against the back of a cow, a cornucopiae in her hand.170

Tellus, too, without the Seasons may well convey the notion of good wishes for a happy and prosperous agricultural New Year. Thus we find her on a medallion of Commodus reclining against a basket, a vine-branch in her hand, while a herdsman with two oxen stands before her.171 On a medallion of Pius she reclines below and holds up the fold of her himation to receive the seed which Triptolemus, hovering above her in his serpent-drawn car, scatters into her lap.172 Other medallions of Pius and of Commodus show Tellus again reclining below, with a cornucopiae and a baby at her breast, while Sol, guided by Lucifer, drives his team heavenward above a bank of clouds.173 Strack sees an allusion here to the Emperor as Sol Invictus.174 But this seems hardly probable in the second century, nor does the god on the medallions make the "salute" with the right hand characteristic of Sol Invictus.175 The primary allusion is surely to Sol as disposer of the agricultural year—"anno qui solstitiali circumagitur orbe,"176 with a secondary reference, it may be to the Emperor, who could take the place of Sol, metaphorically, and mediate his gifts to the world.177 On medallions earlier than the time of Aurelian Sol, even when dissociated from Tellus, may always have had this New Year significance, as when he is seen driving his quadriga on bronze medallions of Hadrian 178 and Aelius 179 and on a gold piece of Caracalla,180 or portrayed in the form of a radiate bust on a small bronze medallion of Hadrian.181

Tripolemuss is equally suggestive of New Year aspirations when associated with Ceres, as on two posthumous medallions of Faustina I, of which one shows Ceres seated and handing corn-ears to Triptolemus, who stands before her beside her serpent-drawn car,182 while the other shows the goddess kindiing an altar, with a small statuary group of Triptolemus in his serpent-drawn car on a pillar to the right.183 Possibly all medallion types of Ceres, whether they portray her alone, standing (Faustina I, Julia Domna 183a) or seated (Crispina),183b or grouped with Annona (Hadrian), Securitas (Faustina II, Lucilla), Hercules (Antoninus Pius), Neptune (Antoninus Pius,184 Marcus Aurelius as Caesar) or the Emperor (Aelius Verus,185 Antoninus Pius),186 should also be interpreted as New Year types, conveying good wishes for New Year blessings of a more strictly material kind.

Finally, we may add to our list a few types somewhat loosely connected with New Year thoughts—Bonus Eventus (Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius), Providentia, whether depicted as a woman holding agricultural implements (Hadrian)187 or as a corn ship (Commodus),188 and Mercury, as the symbol of New Year luck (Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius as Caesar). Commodus' Janus types (bust, statue standing under an arch) suggest January 1, 187 (they are dated tr p xii).189 Marcus Aurelius' Abundantia types, showing her seated and receiving an enormous cornucopiae borne towards her on the shoulders of two boys,190 or standing and pouring the contents of a cornucopiae into a modius,191 remind us of the abvndantia temporvm medallions of Julia Mamaea and Salonina. Faustina II's Isis Pharia medallion192 is an interesting precursor of the Isis-festival medallion group; while Albinus' seated figure labelled saecvlo frvgifro and Gallienus' piece with the legend vberitas suggest "felicitas" and the whole range of associated ideas.

End Notes
25 G II, tav. 48, no. 3. Cf. locvpletatori orbis terrarvm sestertius of Hadrian ( RIC II, p. 415, no. 585).
75a J. Babelon, op. cit., pl. 12, no. 230 (Pl. IX, 1). The idea that the felicitas of the Empire is bound up with the welfare of the Augusti and Caesars is expressed in the reverse legend of a bronze medallion of Maximian: it reads salvis avgg et caess fel orbis terr and accompanies a type showing Moneta in the centre flanked by Roma (?) or Virtus (?) and Felicitas (?) or Abundantia (?) (G II, tav. 127, no. 10).
183a Pl. XLIV, 2.
183b Pl. XLIII, 4.
1 Regnal New Year's Days include the dies imperii (accession day), the day of the Emperor's first reception of the tribunicia potestas, and December 10, the day from which the renewal of the tribunicia potestas was commonly reckoned. The Feriale Duranum (Yale Classical Studies vii) suggests various other "New Years" as possible occasions for medallion issues—the birthdays of the reigning Emperor and of members of his family; the birthdays of certain deified Emperors and Empresses and of deceased imperial princes (e. g. Germanicus); the dies imperii of certain deified Emperors; the anniversaries of the reigning Emperor's first imperial salutation, of his becoming pater patriae and pontifex maximus, of his becoming Caesar, of his designation as consul for the first time, and of his assumption of the toga virilis. Cf. Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Vita Taciti 9:— "divorum templum fieri iussit in quo essent statuae principum bonorum, ita ut iisdem natalibus suis et Parilibus et Kalendis Ianuariis et votis libamina ponerentur." For Augustus' custom of giving out-of-the-way coins as presents at the Saturnalia and on other occasions see Suetonius, Div. Aug. 75:—"Saturnalibus et si quando alias libuisset, modo munera, vestem et aurum et argentum, modo nummos omnis notae, etiam veteres regios et peregrinos."
2 RIC III, p. 356.
3 Ibid., p. 394, no. 244: reverse legend = p m tr p xviii imp viii cos vii p p.
4 BMCCRE IV, p. 845, no. || and note, where the reading given in RIC III, p. 436, no. 616—tr p xvii —is said to lack authority.
5 The type occurs on a rare dupondius with radiate head of Commodus with lion-skin and club on the obverse ( RIC III, p. 437, no. 629) and on a rare aureus with head of Commodus in lion-skin hood on the obverse (ibid., p. 394, no. 247). It is interesting to contrast this type, in which the Emperor is definitely identified with Hercules (the reverse legends read herc rom cond or conditori), with that on sestertii and asses of 190, which show Commodus ploughing, veiled as a priest (ibid., pp. 430, 431, nos. 560, 570).
6 G II, tav. 80, no. 4. A small bronze medallion with this reverse type and laureate head of Commodus on the obverse is said by Gnecchi (III, p. 37, no. 194) to be in the Museo Civico at Venice: but it could not be traced there by the present writer in June, 1938.
7 G II, tav. 80, nos. 2, 3.
8 G II, p. 55, no. 31.
9 G II, tav. 80, nos. 5, 6 (Pl. XLIII, 3).
10 G II, tav. 80, no. 7.
11 Cf. BMCCRE IV, pp. xciv and note 2, clxxxii f. On p. cliii, note 3, it is pointed out that the appearance of cos vii for 192 instead of cos viii for 193 in the legends of these New Year pieces can be explained by the fact that the consuss for 193 were already designate in December 192, while Commodus' plot to put them to death and assume the consulship himself was still a secret (Dio, 72, 22).
12 tr p x = 185, Hercules crowning himself, between an apple tree and an altar (G II, tav. 83, nos. 5, 6); cos v = 186 to 189, Hercules leaning on club (FM 1931, Taf. 5, Nr. 4. Pl. XII, 1. Cf. coins of 183 to 184, RIC III, pp. 413, 414, nos. 399a, 424); tr p xvi = 191, Hercules sacrificing (G II, tav. 79, nos. 5, 6: cf. coins of 190 to 191, RIC III, pl. 15, no. 304); tr p xvii = 192, Commodus, veiled as a priest, sacrificing to Hercules (G II, tav. 85, nos. 8, 9).
13 G II, p. 64, no. 114 (reverse type = Commodus sacrificing to Hercules). Cf. GII, tav. 87, no. 3 (reverse type = Four Seasons).
14 G II, tav. 80, no. 1.
15 G II, tavv. 77, no. 2; 79, no. 9. Cf. coins (all undated), e. g. RIC III, pl. 15, no. 310.
16 G II, tav. 79, no. 10. Cf. coins (all undated), e. g. RIC III, pl. 16, no. 336. Cf. also a small medallion in Paris:—obv. = L ael avrel comm avg p pel, bust of Commodus wearing lion-skin; rev. = p d, bow, quiver, lion-skin on club and trident (G III, p. 37, no. 200). Pl. XII, 2.
17 G II, tav. 40, no. 4; BMCCRE III, pls. 84, no. 2; 89, no. 3.
18 G II, tav. 48, no. 4. RIC III, p. 97, no. 527A gives the legend without pio, but this is not verified by any specimen known to the present writer. BMCCRE IV, p. 171, no. * gives the legend with pio.
19 RIC III, p. 6, note 1.
20 G II, tav. 46, no. 9. See Strack III, S. 35, Anm. 83.
21 Strack, loc. Cit., prefers January 1 to February 25 on the ground that Antoninus must have already been Pater Patriae by February 25, 139.
22 Strack II, Taf. 11, Nr. 469. Pl. XII, 3.
23 Ibid., Taf. 6, Nr. 289.
24 Ibid., Taff. 4, Nr. 288; 6, Nr. 287.
25 Ibid., Taf. 6, Nr. 286.
26 RIC III, p. xvi. Pl. XII, 4.
27 RIC III, pp. 47, 48, 132, 133, nos. 171-173, 184, 846, 853.
28 G IlI, tavv. 161, nos. 7, 8; 155, no. 3.
29 RIC V, i, p. 165, no. 393.
30 Kenner, NZ 1879, SS. 227 f., Taf. 3, Nr. 2. Pl. XII, 5.
31 Cf. Strack III, S. 116 and Nr. 716. Strack assigns the piece to 149 to 152. For the greeting "feliciter" cf. the Senate's acclamation of Pertinax after the death of Commodus:—"fidei praetorianorum feliciter. praetoriis cohortibus feliciter. exercitibus Romanis feliciter. pietati senatus feliciter . . . victoriae populi R. feliciter." (Vila Commodi 18) and the acclamation of Caracalla by the Fratres Arvales in 213:—"Auguste, Augusta! Iuliae Augustae, matri Augusti feliciter" (ILS, I, 451).
32 G II, tav. 82, no. 4.
33 G II, tav. 77, no. 3. Cf. coins with this type and legends temp felic and saecvli felic (RIC III, pp. 389, 430, 431).
34 G II, tav. 89, no. 7.
35 G II, tav. 85, no. 3.
36 G II, tav. 89, nos. 6–8.
37 A Festival of Isis in Rome , p. 48.
38 Vide infra pp. 83 ff.
39 See Alföldi, op. cit., pp. 49 f.
40 G II, tav. 125, no. 10.
41 Alföldi, op. cit., p. 50 and RM 1935, SS. 32 ff.
42 Alföldi, A Festival of Isis etc., pl. 1, nos. 1, 2. Pl. XII, 6, 7.
43 G III, tav. 158, no. 11 (vide infra p. 211).
44 G III, tav. 158, nos. 24, 30.
45 Note also, with Alföldi (op. cit., p. 49), the recurrence of the epithets pivs felix in the obverse legends of the tr p xv medallions.
46 Strack III, Taf. 4, Nr. 602. Pl. XII, 8.
47 For the transference of Pius' tribunician reckoning from February 25 to December 10, in 147, and the consequent dual system of dating during his reign, see RIC III, pp. 1 f.; Strack III, S. 1; BMCCRE IV, p. xxxix.
48 G III, tav. 160, no. 6.
49 III, S. 156, Anm. 471.
50 G II, tavv. 48, no. 9; 50, no. 1.
51 G II, tav. 50, no. 2.
52 G II, tav. 50, no. 3. The presence of victimarius and victim in a vota suscepta scene is, of course, unusual; it should be noted that this piece has been worked over.
53 G II, tav. 46, nos. 1, 2.
54 G II, tavv. 61, no. 3; 63, no. 2.
55 BMCCRE IV, pp. lxvi, lxxxvii.
56 RJC III, p. 289, no. 9S1.
57 G II, tav. 63, no. 9.
58 G II, tav. 89, nos. 2, 3.
59 RIC III, pp. 310, 311, 340, 341, nos. 1226, 1235, 1236, 1584, 1594, 1598.
60 G II, tav. 89 nos. 4 5.
61 G II, tav. 95, no. 4.
62 G I, tav. 1, no. 9 (Pl. XLIV, 5); II, tav. 99, no. 5; III, p. 45, no. 20. Pl. XII, 9.
63 G II, tav. 109, no. 7. I.
64 G I, tav. 3, no. 1.
65 R. Mowat, op. cit., pl. 17, no. 2 (Pl. III, 11).
66 G III, tav. 156, no. 15.
67 G II, tav. 118, no. 11.
68 G II I, tav. 157, no. 3. A small bronze medallion of Probus in the Gnecchi Collection in Rome (G III, tav. 157, no. 4) shows a seated Victory with a shield, the design on which, now practically obliterated, may have been vota numbers in a wreath.
69 G I, tav. 4, no. 3.
70 G I, tav. 4, no. 8 (Pl. XLVII, 7).
71 G I, tav. 5, no. 3 (Pl. XLVIII, 2). Cf. (1) bronze medallion of Diocletian and Maximian at Zagreb, struck in 293, with the legend victoriae avgvstorvm/vota x and the two Augusti, each crowned by a Victory, standing confronted (Numismatika 1933, pl. 1, no. 3) (Pl. IV, 4); (2) bronze medallion of Maximian at Padua, struck in 295, with the legend hercvli victori/vot x and Hercules standing in a temple (Boll, del Museo Civico di Padova, 1910-1911, tav. 9, no. 2). Pl. XII, 10.
72 Aréthuse, Jan. 1924, Pl. 8, no. 2 (Pl. VI, 8).
73 NC 1930, pl. 16, no. 5 (Pl. VIII, 7).
74 G I, tav. 5, no. 9; ZN 1885, SS. 125 ff.
75 Aréthuse, Jan., 1924, pl. 8, no. 7 (Pl. VIII, 8).
76 Pl. XLVIII, 6.
77 Formerly in Paris: cast in Berlin. Pl. XXI, 11.
78 N. B. variants, not figured by Gnecchi, of Constantius II and Constans:—G I, p. 32, no. 44 (formerly in Trau Collection: Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 49, Nr. 4253); p. 32, no. 42 (B. M.); p. 28, no. 18 (Milan and Vienna); p. 28, no. 16 (Gotha and B. M.). Pl. XIII, 1-4.
79 N. B. N at type of Constantine I with legend gloria perpetva avg n / 'smts' and mvl / xx on shield. (Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 45, Nr. 3912). Pl. XIII, 5.
80 N. B. A type of Constantine I with legend victoribvs avgg nn votis / ptr and frontal Victory holding shield inscribed x / xx (G I, tav. 8, no. 5 and Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 45, Nr. 3941 = Oxford piece from A. Evans bequest). Pl. XIII, 6.
81 Vide supra pp. 38 f. It is unlikely that pieces alluding in so peculiarly explicit a manner to the actual vota celebrations held from 325 to 326 were issued in anticipation of them in 324. It does, indeed, appear that the mint of Aquileia, where four out of the five known examples were struck, was closed from 324 to 333, as far as concerns the regular currency (see Maurice I, p. 330). But this would not prevent it being specially opened for the issue of these special pieces early in 326, when Constantine passed through the city on his way back to Rome from the East. If this date be accepted we must, of course, assume that Licinius I, pardoned and honorably "retired" by Constantine after his defeat at Chrysopolis in September, 324, was still nominally "Augustus" in the early spring of 326 and that his revolt and death took place, not in 325 (see P-W s. v. Licinius), but subsequently to the issue of our series, in the late spring or early summer of 326 (see Ulrich-Bansa, op. cit., pp. 27 ff.).
82 N. B. two variants, not illustrated by Gnecchi, of type of Constantine II as Caesar with votis / x / caess nn in wreath:—(1) Paris no. 36a, mint-mark mnm. Pl. XIII, 7. (2) Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 46, Nr. 4058, mint-mark mnГb. Pl. XIII, 8. The variant illustrated by Gnecchi (G I, tav. 9, no. 9) has mint-mark mnt".
83 E. g. Constantius II, with legend gavdivm popvli romani / tes and sic / x / sic / xx in wreath (Vienna: Kubitschek Taf. 16, Nr. 308 = G I, p. 66, no. 33). Pl. XIII, 9. Constans, same legend and mint-mark and sic/v/sic/x in wreath (Evans Collection Sale Catalogue 1934, pl. 61, no. 1923). Pl. XIII, 10. Constans, same, but with mint-mark sis ⊙ (Newell Collection, New York) Pl. XIII, 11. Constantius Gallus, xx in wreath, mint-mark sis (Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 50, Nr. 4336). Pl. XIV, 1. Ibid., with mint-mark lvg (Mazzini Collection, Turin). Pl. XIV, 2.
84 RM 1934, SS. 95 ff.; 1935, S. 32.
85 G II, tavv. 109, no. 8; 123, no. 8. Vide infra pp. 86, 88.
86 This is, of course, exclusive of types in which the pompa circensis is obviously portrayed (e. g. G II, tav. 104, no. 10).
87 Strack III, S. 65, Anm. 170a.
88 Ibid., Taf. 1, Nr. 67.
89 Specimen in a private collection in Rome. Pl. XIV, 3. The piece figured by Gnecchi (III, tav. 150, no. 5) is probably another specimen of the same medallion, but with reverse remade.
90 G II, tavv. 53, no. 3; 55, nos. 6, 7.
91 G II, tav. 63, no. 1.
92 RIC III, p. 288, no. 940.
93 G II, tav. 73, no. 2; 74, no. 4.
94 G II, tav. 60, no. 7.
95 G II, tav. 87, nos. 6, 7; 90, no. 1.
96 Vila Commodi, 12, 5.
97 G II, tavv. 83, no. 10; 84, nos. 1, 2.
98 G II, tav. 85, nos. 2, 3.
99 G II, p. 78, no. 5.
100 G II, tav. 95, no. 5.
101 G II, tav. 96, no. 4.
102 RIC IV, ii, p. 72, no. 15.
103 G II, p. 82, no. 21. Pl. XIV, 4.
104 G II, p. 81, no. 12.
105 G II, tav. 99, no. 2.
106 G II, tav. 99, no. 4.
107 G II, tav. 99, no. 7.
108 JDAI 1936, S. 94, Anm 1.
109 G II, p. 86, no. 3.
110 G II, tav. 105, no. 1.
111 G II, tov. 105, no 4.
112 G II, tav. 105, nos. 5, 6; III, tav. 153, no. 12.
113 G II, tav. 107, no. 7 (Pl. XLV, 3); III, tav. 153, no. 16.
114 G II, tav. 108, no. 4.
115 G II, tav. 109, no. 4. Cf. G II, p. 95, no. 8 (Philip I) and tav. 108, no. 6 (Philip II).
116 G II, tav. 109, no. 8.
117 G II tav. 108, no. 3.
118 G I, tav. 2, no. 4.
119 G II, tav. 109, no. 1 (Pl. XLV, 4).
120 G II, tav. 110, no. 3.
121 G II, tav. 112, no. 2.
122 G II, tav. 112, no. 6.
123 G II, tav. 114, no. 9 (cos v); III, p. 55, no. 67; ZN 1930, Taf. 1, Nrr. 4, 5 (cos vi). Pl. XIV, 5, 6.
124 G II, tav. 113, no. 10.
125 G III, tav. 156, nos. 20, 21.
126 G II, tav. 121, no. 5.
127 G II, tav. 119, no. 8.
128 G III, tav. 161, no. 10.
129 G III, tav. 161, no. 9.
130 G II, tav. 123, no. 8.
131 G II, p. 130, no. 24. The reverse legend reads p m tri p / cos p p. Pl. XIV, 7.
132 The pieces weigh 53.10 and 26.6 grammes respectively and appear to have been struck on the 1/60 of a pound aureus standard, although the date usually assigned to its substitution for the 1/70 of a pound standard is c. 290 (RIC V, ii, p. 207).
133 G I, tav. 5, nos. 1, 2. Cf. supra pp. 51 f.
134 G I, tav. 4, no. 9.
135 G I, p. 19, no. 39. Pl. XV, 1.
136 G I, tav. 10, nos. 6, 7. Cf. supra p. 52.
137 ZN 1928, Taf. 3, no. 3 (Pl. IV, 3). Cf. supra p. 52. These two Treviran pieces may well have been designed for father and son by the same hand. For "dynastic" consular types of Crispus and Constantine II and of Crispus and Constantius II as Caesars vide infra pp. 197 f.
138 G II, tav. 134, no. 12. Constans was consul in 339, 342 and 346. Cf. also the 1 1/2-solidi piece of Constantius II probably struck for his joint consulship with Constans in 339 (vide infra p. 179). A bronze medallion of Licinius II, with the bust of the young Caesar in consular dress on the obverse and a scene of imperial sacrifice and the legend exerc avgvstorvm on the reverse, may have been struck for the joint consulship of the two Licinii in 322 (G II, p. 133, no. 1). Pl. XV, 2.
139 Another interesting example is Commodus' Hilaritas and Salus medallion (G II, tav. 84, no. 9). The type obviously commemorates the Emperor's escape at the Hilaria in the spring of 187; but the piece is dated tr p xiii (Dec., 187 to Dec., 188). A retrospective allusion so striking and direct is only explicable as borne by a New Year gift from the Emperor, recording the most important event, from his personal point of view, of the previous year. (Cf. BMCCRE IV, p. clxiii and note 2).
140 E. g. types of Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea and of Julia Mamaea showing Felicitas grouped with imperial figures (Pl. XLIV, 6). N. B. small Æ type of Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea with legend felicitas perpetva = Paris no. 7460 (G III, p. 44, no. 15). Pl. XV, 3.
141 G II, tav. 78, no. 10.
142 G II, tav. 94, no. 9. Cf. variant in Jameson Collection, Paris (Jameson Collection Catalogue iv, pl. 25, no. 505). Pl. XV, 4.
143 G II, tav. 87, no. 2.
144 G III, tav. 146, no. 1.
145 G II, tavv. 111, no. 6; 121, no. 6; 122, no. 3.
146 G I, tav. 6, no. 6 (Pl. XLVIII, 5). Struck for his quinquennalia in 321? Vide supra p. 39, note 129.
147 For representations of the Four Seasons as boys in imperial-age sculpture see J. M. C. Toynbee, The Hadrianic School, p. 218, and pl. 50.
148 G II, tav. 61, no. 6.
149 Cf. Strack III, SS. 72, 138. For Hercules as patron of agriculture cf. also the Hercules and Ceres medallion type of Pius, which shows Ceres handing a cornucopiae to Hercules (G II, tav. 44, no. 2); types of Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Commodus as Caesar, in which Hercules is crowned by a Victory holding a cornucopiae (G II, tavv. 45, no. 2 (Pl. XLI, 1); 60, no. 2; 87, no. 8); and a type of Commodus, showing Hercules sacrificing and holding a cornucopiae in his left hand (G II, tav. 79, nos. 5, 6).
150 G II, tav. 48, no. 9.
151 For parallel representations of the Horae as girls on the silver patera from Aquileia, on imperial sarcophagi and on terracotta reliefs, gems and vases of Hellenistic and imperial times see J. M. C. Toynbee, op. cit., pls. 32, no. 2; 42, no. 3; pp. 183, 190. Cf. also the mosaic from Isola Sacra, near Ostia, showing the Seasons as four girls issuing from an oval frame supported by Hercules (?) (G. Calza, La necropoli del Porto di Roma nell' Isola Sacra, p. 184, fig. 92. Cf. infra p. 349).
152 Cf. A. B. Cook, Zeus, II, p. 372.
153 A. Levi, "La patera d'argento di Parabiago," (R. Istituto di Archeologia e Storia dell' Arte: opera d'arte, fasc. v. 1935, tav. 3, no. 2).
154 J. M. C. Toynbee, op. cit., pl. 33, no. 3.
155 The latter title is suggested by the legend saec avr which accompanies a half-draped figure holding a phoenix and standing within, and grasping, an oval frame on an early aureus of Hadrian, struck to advertise the new reign as another Golden Age (RIC II, pl. 13, no. 239).
156 G II, tav. 83, nos. 3, 4.
157 G II, tavv. 101, no. 10; 105, no. 7; III, tav. 156, no. 14 (Pl. XLVII, 3).
158 Cf. J. M. C. Toynbee, op. cit., pp. 142 f. For representations of the "cosmic Juppiter" enthroned between Sol, Luna, Gaia and Thalassa within a zodiac frame on imperial coins of Nicaea in Bithynia (Antoninus Pius) and of Perinthus in Thrace (Alexander Severus) see A. B. Cook, op. cit., I, p. 752, figs. 551, 552.
159 Kubitschek S. 12 suggests that this figure is Juppiter—the heavenly cosmocrator watching over his imperial vice-gerent.
160 Cf. rector totivs orbis aureus of Constantine I, showing the Emperor seated and crowned by Victory, with his right hand resting on a zodiac frame (C2, VII, p. 282, no. 463) and restitvtor libertatis aureus of Constantine I, showing the same type, but without the Victory (Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 45, Nr. 3937).
161 G III, tav. 147, nos. 3, 4.
162 G III, p. 21, no. 105.
163 II, S. 107.
164 II, S. 121.
165 bmccre. III, pp. cxxxvi f.
166 G I, tav. 4, no. 2.
167 G II, tavv. 100, no. 7 (Julia Mamaea); 115, no. 8 (Salonina); III, tav. 153, no. 1 (Julia Mamaea).
168 G III, tav. 145, no. 12; II, tavv. 86, nos. 8-10; 87, no. 1.
169 RIC III, p. 364.
170 G II, tav. 54, no. 7.
171 G II, tav. 84, no. 8.
172 Strack III, Taf. 21, Nr. 599. Pl. XV, 5, 6. Cf. the same scene on a posthumous medallion of Faustina I, with the addition of Faustina-Ceres (?) with a torch (?), standing on the left (ibid., S. 139, Nr. 701). Pl. XVI, 1.
173 G II, tavv. 50, no. 6; 78, nos. 3, 4. Cf. a similar type of Faustina II, showing Sol rising heavenwrdd in his chariot out of the sea, with Oceanus and Tellus reclining below (G II, tav. 68, no. 8).
174 Strack III, S. 57.
175 E. g. soli invicto bronze medallions of Aurelian (G II, tav. 117, nos. 9, 10).
176 Livy i, 19, 6.
177 Cf. (1) Lucan's address to Nero (BC i, 48-50):—"seu te flammigeros Phoebi conscendere currus/tellurem-que nihil mutato sole timentem/igne vago lustrare iuvet." (2) The relief from Ephesus at Vienna, showing Marcus Aurelius in the chariot of the Sun, with Tellus reclining below (E. Strong, La scultura romana, tav. 50).
178 ZN 1927, Taf. 8, Nr. 1; 1930, Taf. 2, Nr. 2 = Pl. XVI, 2.
179 G II, tav. 42, nos. 8, 9.
180 G I, tav. 1, no. 4.
181 Strack II, Taf. 16, Nr. 434. Pl. XVI, 3.
182 G II, tav. 57, no. 10.
183 G II, tav. 58, no. 1.
184 G II, p. 16, no. 65. Pl. XVI, 4.
185 Strack II, Taf. 20, Nr. 896. Pl. XVI, 5.
186 G II, p. 22, no. 114. The interpretation of this type is, however, uncertain. The seated male figure may be, not the Emperor, but Juppiter, and the standing female figure, leaning on a column and presenting him with corn-ears, may be, not Ceres, but Securitas. Pl. XVI, 6.
187 Cf. Pl. XVII, 1.
188 The medallion is dated tr p xii and may thus have been issued for Jan. 1, 187 with reference to the equipping of a new African corn fleet in the previous year ( RIC III, p. 422, nos. 486, 487 = sestertii dated tr p xi).
189 These also allude, no doubt, to Commodus' calendar reforms of 186.
190 G II, tav. 63, no. 6.
191 G II, tav. 66, no. 1.
192 G III, tav. 151, no. 4.


II. Imperial Adoptions, Marriages, Births and Deaths

The tr p xviii Hercules medallion series of Commodus has proved to us that in one instance at least the medallions of a given year were prepared well ahead of the regular coinage for distribution as imperial strenae on New Year's Day.1 Similarly, in the case of medallions of other groups with legends and content conveying direct, or almost direct, New Year allusions, the large proportion of types which are exclusively medallic proclaims the same divergence between medallions and coins as regards the actual occasion and moment of their release. New Year celebrations and aspirations are, of course, not infrequently reflected in the ordinary coinage; but this is done in a way which does not necessarily suggest a very close or immediate connection with the New Year's Day itself. In fact it would appear that many New Year coin types could commemorate retrospectively the New Year thoughts and activities inaugurating the year of their issue; whereas medallions were literally "occasional" pieces, struck for the actual day. Again, coin types with vota allusions are sometimes spread out over a wide period, extending over two tribunician years and thus covering issues released at intervals before, and, possibly, after, the final and culminating celebrations to which the vota medallions normally belong. Furthermore, cases of identity of coin with medallion New Year types provide no argument for ascribing the issue of the coins which bear the types in question to New Year's Day. There are cases, such as that of the Four Seasons motif, in which the coin type has been simply borrowed from medallions issued at a much earlier date.2 Conversely, there are instances, such as that of the Hercules ploughing type of Commodus, of the translation of pre-existing coin types into a new medallic setting for New Year purposes.3 When we pass from the New Year medallions to those concerned with imperial adoptions, marriages, births and deaths, we shall inevitably find, in certain fields, a less intimate association of medallion, as distinct from coin, issues in point of time with the occasions which inspired them. In the case of such pre-arranged affairs as adoptions and marriages, it was obviously possible to prepare medallions beforehand for presentation on the day itself, as on New Year's Day. On the other hand, medallions relating to births and deaths are, of their very essence, retrospective and commemorative, rather than "occasional" in the strictest sense of the term: some interval at least must have elapsed between the event and the distribution of the gifts connected with it. In the case of deaths, this distribution may well have taken place at the time of the official consecration, as the consecration types and legends possibly, although not necessarily, imply. A possible moment for offering presents in honor of a new arrival in the imperial family is suggested by the dies lustricus, the eighth or ninth day after birth, when the child received its name: but the interval may well have been longer. Nor, again, shall we find in these medallions a content as specifically and exclusively medallic as in those of other categories. Such events in the lives of rulers were, under the Roman Empire, as always, matters of wide, popular appeal and lent themselves more readily to striking representation on the current coinage than the ever-recurring thoughts and ceremoness of New Year s Day, which, just because they were, in a sense, common property, demanded that their treatment on the Emperors New Year gifts should assume ever novel and original forms. Hence the frequent overlapping of coin and medallion consecration types. Hence, too, since Antoninus Pius' dynastic programme involved the focusing of public interest on the numerous confinements of Faustina II, the fact that the births of royal children during his principate are recorded almost more completely and literally on the coinage than on the corresponding medallions: and here also the identity of coin and medallion types is not uncommon.4 At the same time there remains a not inconsiderable number of types, issued in these contexts, which are peculiar to medallions and record their respective occasions in an outstandingly vivid or personal manner.

End Notes
1 Vide supra pp. 74 ff.
2 Vide supra p. 90.
3 Vide supra p. 74.


The adoption of Aelius Verus by Hadrian is the only occasion of its kind, so far as we know, on which medallions were distributed. Coins of Aelius refer to the event in a general and impersonal way with types of Concordia, Pietas, Spes, Roma greeting the Emperor-to-be, and the like. But a medallion reverse type, combined with obverse portraits of both parties concerned, offers a quasi-realistc scene of the adoption ceremony itself. Hadrian and his adopted heir stand confronted, clasping one another by the hand. The legend reads concordia; and between the two men stands Concordia herself, facing the spectator, with a hand laid on the shoulder of each.5


We have no direct medallic allusions to the marriage of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina II, solemnized in the spring, or early summer, of 145. It would be strange, however, if an imperial union of such special dynastic significance had occasioned no issue of medallions for presentation on the auspicious day. Hence the attractiveness of Strack's suggestion that the medallion type of Marcus showing Bacchus riding in a biga drawn by Centaurs and attended by Satyrs and an Amor, depicts in allegory the wedding of the imperial Bacchus and Ariadne.6 If straight-forward wedding scenes were planned for the regular coinage,7 this vivid mythological version, although less strictly personal, has its natural place on pieces designed as special gifts for cultured people. The realistic wedding scene appears, however, on a medallion struck for the occasion of Lucilla's marriage with Lucius Verus in 164, with the legend concordia felix and the bridal pair clasping hands.8 It is also possible that one of Faustina II's medallions was struck for Lucilla's wedding. It shows Juno Lucina (?) enthroned, with sceptre, crowning a small female figure, with skirt uplifted in the attitude of Spes, who receives statuettes of the three Graces from Venus (?).9 The Graces symbolize conjugal fertility; and the little figure enshrining the hope of royal offspring is at this stage—the obverse bears the later version of the legend, favstina avgvsta—probably not Faustina herself, but her newly-wed daughter, Lucilla. The same motif of a girl receiving statuettes of the three Graces at Venus' (?) hands appears on medallions struck both in Faustina's and in Lucilla's name, which may also have been issued as presentation pieces for the latter's wedding-day.10 On Lucilla's coins references to the wedding are all impersonal—Concordia, sometimes accompanied by Spes, and vota pvblica ("marriage vows") within a wreath. Similar types—Concordia, clasped hands, a lighted altar (dis conivgalibvs)—on Crispina's coinage allude to her marriage with Commodus in 177. These may be retrospective, for it is uncertain whether coins were struck for Crispina before her husband's sole reign began.11 But the bronze medallions with twin busts of bride and bridegroom on the obverse, to which no coin parallel exists, can hardly be other than contemporary pieces, presented by Marcus to wedding guests and other friends on the wedding day itself, which, as Capitolinus tells us, he made the occasion of a congiarium.12 One of the reverse types is strictly allegorical—Concordia enthroned, with her elbow resting on a statuette of Spes. But the second type shows the quasi-realistic scene of bride and bridegroom joining hands under Concordia's auspices, with the legend vota pvblica.13 No less than sixteen extant specimens of this type are recorded: Marcus must have been liberal with his gifts. Twin busts of a youthful bride and bridegroom again appear on a small "framed" medallion of Septimius Severus, the reverse of which shows portraits of Caracalla and Plautilla and the titles borne by Caracalla in 202 (pont tr p v cos), the year of their marriage.14 The next medallion in the marriage series is a large bronze of Elagabalus and Aquilia Severa, known from a unique "framed" specimen in Paris. This sacrilegious union of the priest-Emperor with a Vestal Virgin took place in 219 to 220 and is recorded by Concordia coin types.15 According to Dio, Elagabalus had the impudence to declare, apropos of his conduct, "I did this in order that godlike children might spring from me, the high priest, and her, the high priestess"16—words which give special point to our medallion. The obverse shows twin busts of the bridal pair; the reverse bears the legend spes pvblica and portrays Spes stepping out jauntily—the personification of that very hope of godlike offspring, which the Emperor thus advertised to the recipients of his wedding-day gifts.17 In the year 225, in deferenece to his mother's wish, Alexander Severus took to wife a lady of patrician birth, Sallustia Barbia Orbiana. Bronze medallions of Alexander, of Alexander and Orbiana and of Orbiana show the usual wedding group with concordia avgvstorvm as accompanying legend.18 Another bronze piece of Alexander and Orbiana shows bride and bridegroom solemnizing their union by a sacrifice.19 In view of the part played by Julia Mamaea in bringing off the match it would not be unreasonable to attribute to the same occasion a small silver medallion with her own bust on one side and those of her son and daughter-in-law on the other.20 The last medallic record of an imperial marriage is a bronze piece of Salonina, with legend concordia avgvstorvm and Salonina and Gallienus clasping hand.21

End Notes
4 Cf. Strack III, S. 108 ff.
5 G II, tavv. 38, no. 3; 42, no. 7.
6 G II, tav. 65, nos. 8, 9 (Pl. XLI, 6); Strack III, S. 110 (vide infra p. 139).
7 E. g. RIC III, pls. 3, no. 71; 4, no. 79. It is possibe that this type was originally inspired by the Hadrianic adoption medallion.
8 G II, tav. 76, no. 1. This medallion is, unfortunately, known only from a single, somewhat suspicious, piece in Paris.
9 G II, tav. 69, no. 7.
10 G II, tavv. 68, no. 2 (Faustina avgvsta); 76, no. 7 (Pl. XLII, 5). For Pansa's theory that the three figures represent, not Graces, but children see RIN 1920, pp. 163 ff.
11 RIC III, p. 356.
12 Vita Marci, 27, 8.
13 G II, tav. 91, nos. 7, 8, 9.
14 G III, tav. 152, no. 6.
15 One piece ( RIC IV, ii, p. 59, no. 395), showing Elagabalus and his bride united by Concordia, has no s c and may be a small medallion.
16 Dio 80, 9, 3.


Imperial births are naturally recorded mainly on medallions of Empresses and in association, for the most part, with the female imperial virtues of fecunditas, pietas and pudicitia. It is, indeed, comparatively rare to find births providing occasions for medallion issues; and the earliest and largest group of "birthday" medallions was inspired by special circumstances—Antoninus Pius' preoccupation with the need for securing a dynastic succession to the principate within his own family. The birth of Pius' eldest grandchild, Faustina Parvula, which took place not later than April, 146, has left no trace on either coins or medallions. But the arrival, in the following year, of a male heir to the throne, reflected in the Juno Lucina, Venus Genetrix and Laetitia coin types, is commemorated on a medallion of Faustina II in a strikingly vivid and pleasing reverse design. The imperial baby is seen riding on the back of the peacock of Juno Lucina, who assisted at his birth, while two guardian Curetes, one on either side, execute an armed dance.22 Unfortunately the little "Zeus" only survived his birth by a few weeks. In 149, however, Faustina presented her husband with twins, a boy, who died soon after birth, and a girl, the future Empress Lucilla. Direct reference to the happy event is, in this case, reserved for the coinage, in the temporvm felicitas type showing busts of the new arrivals, as the harbingers of a "Happy New Year," emerging from cornuacopiae.23 But Strack24 convincingly ascribes to this occasion three medallions of Marcus Aurelius dated tr p hi (149)—Mars-Marcus seated, with Venus-Faustina standing beside him,25 Bacchus-Macuss and Ariadne-Faustina in a panther-biga, with a Bacchic train in attendance,26 and the small bronze pieces with an Amor riding on a lion.27 No more births in the imperial family are recorded on medallions until 157, when a third daughter, Domitia Faustina, arrived, only to be carried off by death in early infancy. Bronze medallions of Faustina II, large and small, bear the legend fecvnditati avgvstae and the Empress seated with the baby on her lap, while her only two other surviving children, Faustina Parvula and Lucilla, stand on either side.28 After the death of their. little sister, Faustina Parvua and Lucilla were again the sole survivors, and as such they appear on a medallion of Faustina which shows her standing between her two daughters—a type not, this time, occasioned by, but anticipating, another birth, perhaps to advertise to relatives and friends the good news that the imperial lady was once more with child.29 Indeed, in 159 Faustina was again confined, this time with happier results, for her fourth daughter, Fadilla, contrived to survive her infancy. Two medallions show the Empress as the mother once more of three children. On one piece she stands in the centre with the new baby in her arms, while Lucilla stands on the right and from the left Faustina Parvula staggers along beneath the weight of an enormous cornucopiae.30 The second piece shows Faustina seated on a chair with arms formed of two cornuacopiae, on which are perched the little Fadilla as Spes—new hope for the Domus Augusta, and Lucilla as Abundantia, handing the Empress two corn ears, while Faustina Parvula stands at her mother's side.31 The same occasion inspired the pietati avg coin and medallion of Pius (tr p xxiii)—Pietas-Faustina standing, a globe in one hand and Fadilla in the other, between the two elder girls.32 In the summer of 160 Faustina II gave birth to yet another daughter, Cornificia. This occasioned a medallion of Pius showing the Emperor writing upon a shield, presented to him by Victory, and accompanied by Faustina and her four daughters, the new baby in her arms.33 Fate dealt somewhat hardly with Pius in this matter of the succession. Twice his hopes of a male heir had been doomed to disappointment; and now it was not until after his death in the summer of 161 that Faustina gave birth to twin sons, one of whom was really destined to succeed his father and grandfather as the Emperor Commodus. But at any rate what Pius had hoped for was at last achieved. The tempor felic legend reappears upon the aes coinage, accompanied by a standing type of Faustina with her six children;34 while a medallion shows the Empress seated with the twins in her arms and their four admiring sisters clustering around.35 It is perhaps noteworthy that, apart from the two cases in which the medallion types exactly coincide with those of coins, none of the medallions of this "birthday" series bear explanatory reverse legends. On the coins these were needed to make explicit to the people at large the thoughts suggested by imperial motherhood. But the types themselves, without comment, sufficed for the relatives, personal friends and high-placed officials for whom the medallions were designed. The next "birthday"' medallion was struck for Lucilla, who presented her husband with a daughter in 166; it shows her seated, suckling her child, and bears the legend fecvnditass avgvstae.36

The fecvnditati avg medallions of Julia Domna are frankly retrospective. They show the Empress enthroned and suckling an infant (Geta), while a small boy (Caracalla) stands at her knee.37 This reverse design is combined with two varieties of obverse legend, ivlia domna avgvsta, assigned to the years 193 to 196, and ivlia avgvsta, assigned to the years 196 to 211. The portraits on both obvesess are very similar and we should be inclined to ascribe both medallions to 196, the year in which the change from one legend to another took place and when the striking of both the old and the new obverse type in the same issue might be expected. Moreover it was on May 27 of this very year that Septimius Severus, on his way back to Rome from the East, celebrated the birthday of his younger son in Thrace by holding military games, with dynastic propaganda in view.38 A liberalitas and public games marked his return to the Capital, while his providentia avg denarii seem to refer to the designation of Caracalla as the heir.39 The medallions may well have been struck, also as part of the dynastic programme, for the same occasion, before Severus left Rome for Gaul.40 We have no direct evidence that the marriage of Alexander Severus and Orbiana was ever blessed with children; but a bronze medallion of Orbiana with the legend fecvnditass temporvm shows the Empress enthroned with Felicitas (?) kneeling at her feet and presenting her with a cornucopiae, while a baby is perched on each of her shoulders.41 Did Orbiana, then, bear twins, whose birth is otherwise unknown to us? As far as we are aware, Otacilia had no other children after giving birth to her son Philip II in 237 to 238. It would seem, therefore, that her temporvm felicitas, pvdicitia avg and pietas avgvstae medallions, which show her grouped with several children, had a general and symbolic signficance.42

The pietas avgvstes [sic] bronze medallion of Helena, showing the Empress with two children, which was struck for her by Constantine, possibly in 325 for the occasion of his vicennalia, when the title of "Augusta" was conferred upon her, is, of course, a general and retrospective tribute to her imperial motherhood.43 "Birthday medallions" were also struck for Fausta, two in gold and one in bronze. The first gold type, with the legend pietas avgvstae, shows the Empress nimbate and frontal, seated with a baby on her lap and attended by Felicitas, another female figure and winged Genii with garland.44 The occasion was, presumably, the birth of Fausta's eldest child, Constantius II, in 317. The second gold type shows the legend spes reipvblicae and Fausta standing with an infant on either arm.45 As Seeck observes,46 Nazarius (Paneg. 10, 36) speaks of the Caesars Crispus and Constantine II as having "fratres" in 321; and the piece may thus commemorate the birth of another boy in 318 to 319, soon enough, at any rate, after the birth of Constantius II for the pair to be represenedd in the guise of twins. As we hear nothing more of this second son of Fausta we may conclude that he died in early childhood; and her bronze medallion with the legend pietas avgvstes [sic], the "twin" of Helena's piece and presumably issued at the same time and mint,47 shows the Empress standing with Constans, born in 323, in her arms and only one other child, Constantius, by then a boy of six, beside her:48 this piece was, of course, retrospective, if struck in 325.

End Notes
17 G II, tav. 97, no. 2.
18 RIC IV, ii, p. 114, no. 551; G II, tavv. 98, no. 4; 102, no. 2; III, tav. 153, no. 9; p. 44, no. 2 (N. B. Berlin piece). Pl. XVII, 2. Cf. coins with the same type (RIC IV, ii, pl. 9, no. 1).
19 G II, tav. 102, no. 3.
20 G I, tav. 23, no. 5.
21 G II, p. III, no. 7. Pl. XVII, 3.
22 G II, tav. 67, no. 10 (= obverse), no. 7 (= reverse).
23 RIC III, pl. 2, no. 35.
24 III, S. 114.
25 G II, tav. 61, no. 7.
26 G II, tav. 65, no. 7.
27 Strack IV, Taf. 4, Nr. 613. Pl. XVII, 4.
28 G II, tav. 67, no. 2; III, tav. 150, no. 9. Cf. aurei of Faustina II with the same type and legend ( RIC III, p. 269, nos. 681, 682). The Bacchus and Ariadne type struck for Marcus Aurelius in 157 (G II, tav. 62, no. 3) may celebrate this birth.
29 G II, tav. 69, no. 4.
30 G II, tav. 69, no. 6.
31 G II, tav. 69, no. 9.
32 G II, tav. 46, no. 7; RIC III, pls. 2. no. 47; 6, no. 116.
33 G II, tav. 55, no. 5. The Victory-and-sheld motif must allude to the crushing of a rebellion in Africa during the early part of the year.
34 Strack III, Taf. 20, Nr. *
35 G II, tav. 69, no. 8. As far as we know, Marcus issued no "birthday" medallions for the children born to him and Faustina after 161.
36 G II, tav. 76, no. 2.
37 G II, tav. 94, nos. 6, 7.
38 Vila Max. du., 2; JRS 1920, p. 164.
39 RIC IV, i. pl. 5, no. 22.
40 Cf. also the aeternit imperi medallions of Julia Domna with confronted busts of Septimius Severus and Caracalla and of Septimius Severus and Geta (vide infra p. 159, note 154).
41 G II, tav. 102, no. 1.
42 G II, tavv. 107, no. 10; 108, nos. 1, 2; III, tav. 153, no. 18.
43 G II, tav. 128, no. 9.


In view of the abundant output of current coins with consecration types and reference, the comparative scarcity of medallions occasioned by deaths in the imperial family need not surprise us. The consecration of an Emperor or Empress was essentially a public event, whereby the seal of official approval was set upon the life and character of the deceased. The distribuiion of medallions as individual and private gifts was therefore less appropriate to these occasions than to others of a more personal kind. Again, there are few consecration medallions of which the types do not coincide, in all but a few details at the most, with the types of the corresponding coins. If some special pieces were struck for presentation, as has been suggested, on the actual consecration day, their types appeared later, in an identical or modified form, and accompanied by a wide variety of other types, on the coins of the next regular issues of imperial currency. The series of consecration medallions opens,49 however, with no less than six different types issued for the occasion of Faustina I's death and consecration in 141. Some of these show interesting divergencies from the corresponding coins. The rogus type (consecratio), with Faustina in a biga crowning the elaborate erection, is shared with the coinage.50 But the type of the Empress with flying cloak, driving beside Aeternitas in a biga to right (consecratio), is peculiar to medallions.51 A third medallion, without reverse legend, shows Faustina, wearing a stephane, in the act of stepping into a biga, the reins of which she holds in her hands, for her last journey.52 Aurei show the same design; but the figure wears no stephane and has a decidedly more juvenle appearance than her opposite number on the medallion.53 Is she, not Faustina starting for heaven, but Aeternitas waiting for the imperial traveller to mount—on the coins an abstraction, on the more personal medallions Faustina herself? Another legend-less medallion portrays the Empress in a galloping biga, holding her flying cloak with both hands.54 Sestertii show a somewhat similar type, but there the figure suggests Aeternitas, for she holds a long torch.55 A fifth medallion, to which, again, no coins correspond, shows a dignified, matronly standing figure, leaning on a column and holding a globe surmounted by a nimbate phoenix (aeternitas)56 In spite of the legend we may, perhaps, discern in this stately personage the features and bearing of the Empress herself, with the symbols of Eternity, rather than Eternity personified. Similarly, in Faustina's sixth, also legend-less, reverse type we may possibly see, not Aeternitas, but the immortal Empress in the figure who stands beside a lighted altar and holds a bust of Sol (?) and a zodiac frame.57 On the other hand, the legend avgvsta, which accompanies a somewhat similar figure on the coinage, does not necessarily imply that the person there depicted is the Empress, for it is also combined with a variety of other types.58 The consecratio bronze medallion of Antoninus Pius has no counterpart on the regular coinage. It shows an apotheosis scene in which Pius is borne aloft on the back of an eagle, while Campus Martius reclines below.59 Both of Faustina II's consecration medallions are shared with coins. One shows Diana standing with crescent, quiver and torch (sideribvs recepta);60 the other shows Faustina-Aeternitas standing and leaning on a column, a sceptre in one hand, in the other a phoenix perched on a globe (aeternitas)61

After the Antonine period only three more consecration medallions remain to be recorded. A bronze piece of Divus Pertinax (193) has the legend aeternitas and a type unknown to his ordinary consecration coinage—an elephant-quadriga carrying a statue of the deceased Emperor beneath a canopy.62 We know that Septimius Severus, in his capacity as the avenger of Pertinax, celebrated his apotheosis in full style.63 For Valerian II (died c. 255) we have a bronze piece with the legend consecratio and a rogus topped by the dead prince in a biga.64 The fine gold medallion struck at Ostia in memory of Maxentius' son Romulus (died 309) has an obverse portrait peculiar to itself, but shares its reverse legend and type—aeternae memoriae and circular temple—with the regular coinage.65

End Notes
44 G I, tav. 8, no. 10; Maurice I, pl. 23, no. II. Pl. XVII, 5. The first variant shows four Genii, the second only two.
45 G I, tav. 8, nos. 11, 12.
46 ZN 1898, SS. 40, 41. There seem to be no serious grounds for rejecting Seeck's conclusion (p-w2 s. v. Fausta, Bd. 12, 2085) that Fausta really was the mother of Constantius II and Constans.
47 Vide supra p. 54, note 93.
48 G II, tav. 133, no. 1.
49 A bronze medallion of Sabina (consecratio, spread eagle) was in trade with Cahn in 1936, but it seems to be of doubtful authenticity (cast in B. M.).
50 G II, tav. 56, no. 7.
51 G II, tav. 56, no. 8.
52 G II, tavv. 58, no. 2; 59, no. 3.

III. Religious Celebrations

A small series of medallions with sacrificial scenes would appear to have been struck for distribution at the "Birthday of Rome" celebrations on April 21. A unique large bronze piece of Septimius Severus at Zagreb bears the legend restitv-tor vrbis and shows Roma enthroned and the Emperor sacrificing to her at a tripod: by this act of worship the Emperor renews, as it were, or "restores" the eternal life of Rome.66 Bronze medallions of Alexander Severus and of Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea, struck in 228, with the legend p m tr p vii cos ii p p or romae aeternae, depict the Emperor, accompanied by priests and attendants, sacrificing in front of a temple, in which a statue of Roma is enshrined.67 J. Gagé identifies the temple with that of Venus and Rome, built by Hadrian, and believes that the year 128 may, after all, prove to have some connection with its beginnings, since the choice of the year 228, exactly a hundred years later, for the issue of these medallions suggests centenary celebrations.68 Mattingly69 and Strack70 favor a later date for the foundation of this temple, 136 to 137, when representations of it first appear on Hadrian's coinage. Possibly the consecration of the site and the foundation ceremony took place in 128, while the building was not completed and dedicated until 136 to 137.71 We may also ascribe to the Natalis Urbis celebrations two bronze medallions of Constantius Chlorus and Galerius respectively, both with the reverse legend romae aeternae and a scene in which the two Augusti, supported by the two Caesars, sacrifice before a temple, presumably that of Venus and Rome.72

Similar medallions with sacrificial scenes were occasioned by the "non-canonical," centenary Ludi Saeculares held by Philip I in 248, the thousandth anniversary of the foundation of Rome. The extant pieces bear portraits of Philip I and Philip II, of Philip I, Otacila and Philip II and of Philip II alone and the reverse legend saecvlvm novvm, with father and son offering sacrifice in front of a temple, again identifiable as that of Venus and Rome.73 The legend saecvlvm novvm shows, as Gagé has observed,74 that the celebrations were as much prospective as retrospective, looking forward to the new age of Eternal Rome as well as backwards to her distant origins. Another piece of Philip I, Otacilia and Philip II, struck for the same occasion, refers specifically to the games themselves. It bears the legend saecvl-ares / avgg and shows the interior of the circus, with a palm tree, various small, circular structures and racing chariots.75

End Notes
53 Strack III, S. 92, Taf. 6, Nr. 437.
54 G II, tav. 59, no. 4.
55 Strack III, Taf. 18, Nr. 1231 a.
56 G II, tav. 56, no. 5 (Pl. XLI, 4).
57 Strack III, Taf. 4, Nr. 708. Pl. XVII, 6.
58 RIC III pp. 70-72.
59 G II, tav. 43, no. 5.
60 G II, tav. 67, no. 4.
61 G II, tav. 67, no. 1.
62 G II, tav. 91, no. 10.
63 Cf. CAH xii, p. 5. The large bronze consecratio medallion of Julia Domna (G II, tav. 96, no. 1) is of very dubious antiquity.
64 G II, tav. 116, no. 3. Cf. RIC V, i, p. 120, no. 35.
65 G I, p. 14, no. 1 (Pl. IV, 11). The original disappeared from Paris in 1831, but a copy is preserved in Berlin.

IV. Imperial Comings and Goings

The comings and goings of Emperors to and from Rome and, under the later

Empire, to and from the great provincial capitals, were obvious occasions for the distribution of imperial gifts. Fortune, the goddess who leads the Emperor out and brings him safe home again, would naturally figure among the medallion types issued in this context; and we may, perhaps, ascribe to Hadrian's final homecoming after the Jewish war his bronze medallion with the obverse legend of 130 to 138 and on its reverse fortvnae redvci and a scene showing Fortuna seated, while the Emperor stands before her and gratefully clasps her hand.76 On medallions dating from Commodus' fifth consulship the legends fortvnae dvci and fortvnae redvci both occur; both accompany the type of the Emperor sacrificing to Fortuna, who stands in the first case and is seated in the second.77 The Fortuna Redux type likewise appears on a piece with reverse legend p m tr p xiii imp viii cos v p p,78 which fixes the date of the Fortuna group as 187 to 188. Lampridiuss tells us that Commodus planned a visit to Africa and raised a levy to defray the cost—on false pretences, as the journey never actually took place.79 Were these medallions presented, by way of acknowledgment, to a circle of selected "subscribers"? Another unaccomplished return suggests the occasion of the fortvnae redvci / cos ii medallion of Albinus, which portrays the goddess seated with a wheel beneath her throne.80 In the summer of 193 Septimius Severus left Rome for the East, after offering Albinus the position of Caesar in the West. The title was formally conferred upon him by the Senate and coins were struck for the governor of Britain in Rome,81 where Albinus was popular and a movement was soon on foot to encouagee him to march on the Capital and seize the Empire. The appearance of Fortuna Redux on his cos ii (194 to 195) coinage indicates that he was willing and ready to return. With Septimius safely away in the East, Albinus' party in Rome could doubtless influence, up to a point, the choice of coin types. As for the bronze medallions, we can imagine that they were struck at Albinus' orders and released in anticipation of the event, as gifts for leading senators and other friendly notables, whose good will it was important to foster against his coming. The fortunae redvci medallions of Trebonianus Gallus, of Trebonianus Gallus and Volusianus and of Volusianus display a type unknown to the regular coinage—the two Emperors, accompanied by attendants and soldiers, sacrificing together in front of a temple.82 The occasion was doubtless the return of Trebonianus and Volusianus in 252 from the Gothic war. We may ascribe to Gallienus' famous entry into Rome, on his return from the East, the bronze piece with the legend fortvna redvx and the type of Fortuna standing.83 Lastly, an actual imperial home-coming, safely accomplished with Fortuna's aid, is depicted on a small bronze medallion of Probus with the legend reditvs romae and a scene showing Roma seated and offering a Victory to the Emperor, who stands, togate, before her.84 The piece may have been issued for Probus' triumphal entry into Rome in the winter of 281 to 282. It bears the mint-mark of Siscia, where Probus must have had it struck when passing through Illyri-cum on his way westward, bringing it with him for distribution in the Capital on his arrival.

Three medallions, two of Hadrian and one of Marcus Aurelius, appear to be gifts of acknowledgment distributed by the Emperor to senators in return for vows offered for his safe home-coming by the Senate and People of Rome. It was in 121, when Hadrian set out from Rome upon his first imperial tour, that such vows were first offered on the imperial traveller's behalf; and contemporary aurei with the legend v s pro red show the Genius Senatus and the Genius Populi Romani sacrificing together.85 A bronze medallion with the same obverse legend and an almost identical scene on the reverse, describes more explicitly the part played by Senate and People on this occasion—senatvs popvlvsqve romanvs / vota svscepta.86 Other pieces of the same date show the right-hand half only of the design—the Genius of the Roman People sacrificing, with the legend genio popvli romani or genivs popvli romani.87 Were these medallions parting presents from the Emperor to senators, presented, perhaps, on the very day on which the vows were made? Marcus Aurelius' medallion shares its obverse legend with coins dated 161 to 163. The reverse, which bears no legend, shows two figures, readily identifiable as the Genius Senatus and the Genius Populi Romani, supporting between them, on a garlanded altar, a shield on which, on a good specimen, vo / ta can be clearly seen.88 Was the occasion of this piece the profectio of Marcus and Lucius from Rome for Capua in the spring of 162, preparatory to Lucius' departure for the eastern front?

The profectio medallions all fall within the century separating Hadrian from Gordian III. The earliest piece, issued, most probably, on the occasion of Hadrianss departure for the Jewish war in the summer of 134,89 is based upon the decursio coin types of Nero and Trajan and shows the Emperor cantering, lance in rest, and accompanied by another rider and a foot-sodier.90 The continuous wars of Marcus Aurelius' principate produced quite a crop of profectio scenes. The first of these, which closely resembles its Hadrianic predecessor, dates from Marcus' sixteenth tribunician year and was obviously struck for Lucius' departure for the East in the spring of 162: the imperial colleagues are seen riding out of the city side by side.91 The type is repeated on a medallion of Lucius dating from the end of 167 (tr p viii), when both Emperors left Rome for the northern front—a departure unrecorded on the regular coinage.92 Late in 169 Marcus made a second profectio for the North, this time alone, for Lucius had died early in the year: the second rider shown on the medallion struck for this occasion (tr p xxiv) must therefore be a general, or attendant, as in Hadrianss type.93 On August 5, 178, Marcus and Commodus set out together for the Expeditio Germanica Secunda. The coins make no reference to this profectio; but a bronze medallion of Marcus, with the title sarmaticvs on its obverse and a repetition of the 169 reverse type, must portray it, the second rider being now identifiable as Commodus.94 A profectio type of Commodus dated tr p xiii (187 to 188)95 may have been occasioned by the unfulfilled project of an African trip and, like the Fortuna pieces, distributed for "programme" purposes to distinguished "contributors.96 A heavy piece of Septimius Severus with the legend p p tr p xvi / s c / profectio avg must refer to the Emperors departure for Britain in 208.97 Alexander Severus' profectio for the East in 231 occasioned bronze medallions, struck both in his own name and in the joint names of himself and his mother, which introduce a new type—the Emperor on horseback preceded by Victory and followed by one, or more, soldiers.98 Another "going out" piece of Alexander, with portraits of mother and son on the obverse, was issued for the Emperor's departure on the German expedition towards the end of 234: it shows him, with Victory and four soldiers, crossing the Rhine bridge, while the Rhine god reclines below—a "programme" type, if the medallions were distributed when Alexander left Rome.99 The new profectio type reappears on a curious "framed" piece of Gordian III, of which the obverse and reverse types were beaten out in thin silver plates applied to a bronze flan.100 Its occasion was the inauguration of the Persian campaign in the spring of 242. To the same event must be ascribed Gordian's fine series of traiectvs avg medallions, struck in gold and bronze, which depict the Emperor and his troops crossing the Hellespont in an elaborately decorated trireme.101 It is possible that these medallions were issued as programme pieces at the time of Gordian's profectio for the East; or they may have been prepared beforehand and released when the news reached Rome that the expeditionary force had been safely landed on the Asiatic shore. The same possibilities may apply to medallions depicting the crossing of the Euphrates and the recovery of Mesopotamia in 243: a small bronze piece with legend traiectvs avg shows the Emperor and his retinue crossing a bridge of boats,102 while a large piece with legend fides exercitvs portrays him, crowned by Victory, shaking hands with a soldier in the presence of Euphrates and Tigris reclining below.103

Adventus medallions, which become relatively plentiful from the middle of the third century onwards, were only issued sporadically under the early Empire. During the second century numismatic interest in imperial arrivals seems to have exhausted itself in the great adventus coin series of Hadrian, recording his many solemn entries into Rome and the provinces. During the whole of the Antonine period, from Pius to Commodus, only two coins, both of Commodus, with the adventus legend are known to us.104 This scarcity of adventus coin types lends a special interest to our small series of second-century adventus medallions. The earliest, issued by Trajan in silver and bronze, bears the legend adven-tvs avg / s p q r optimo principi and shows the Emperor on horseback, preceded by Felicitas (?) and followed by solders:105 it was doubtless struck for Trajan's home-coming in 106 from the second Dacian war.106 After a gap of over sixty-five years the adventus type reappears on two medallions of Marcus Aurelius, dated tr p xxvii and tr p xxviii respectively, with legend adventvs avg and the Emperor, attended by soldiers and Victory, marching towards a triumphal arch.107 The date of issue can be fixed exactly: it was December, 173, when Marcus' twenty-seventh tribunician year ended and his twenty-eighth began. As Macdonald pointed out,108 these pieces suggest, what we know from no other source, that during the course of the Quadic war Marcus paid at least a flying visit to the Capital in 173, before the opening of the winter campaign.

Adventus coins grow commoner under the Severi; but we have only one Adventus medallion type of this period, and that does not tally, either in date or design, with any known coin. Large bronze pieces of Septimius, with the legend adventvi avg p m tr p ii / cos ii p p, show the Emperor on horseback, his hand raised in greeting, with a soldier in attendance.109 The medallions were struck, as the legend shows, in 194, when Septimius was away in the East. They must, therefore, have been occasioned, not by an actual, but by an anticipated arrival, issued, presumably, under the influence of the Severan party in Rome as "programme" pieces and as a counterblast to the Fortuna Redux medallions prompted by Albinus suppoters.110 After another interval of nearly half a century adventus medallions reappear under Philip I, on the occasion of his return, with his son Philip II, to Rome from the Danube front at the end of 247. A silver piece with busts of Philip I and Otacilia on the obverse revives the decursio type, with the two Augusti galloping side by side (adventvs avgg);111 while a small, but distinctly medallic, bronze piece shows the third-century profectio design of the Emperors riding with Victory and soldiers adapted to an adventus type.112 The latter type is repeated on the adventvs avgg medallions of Trebonianus Gallus, of Trebonianus Gallus and Volusianus and of Volusianus issued for the occasion of their return to Rome in 252;113 another piece with the two busts on the obverse shows the decursio type again.114

During the second half of the third century adventus legends and types become very frequent on the coinage and correspondingly more numerous upon medallions. The imperial riders with Victory and soldiers in attendance is the type adopted for the adventus pieces of Valerian and Galienus,115 issued, presumably, at, or soon after, Gallienus' promotion to the rank of Augustus in 253, for an early adventus medallion of Gallienus of about the same date116 and for later pieces of Gallienus and Salonina117 and of Gallienus and Valerian II,118 struck between the latter's promotion to the rank of Caesar in 256 and his death in 258. Other medallions of silver and bronze, ascribable to the years 256 to 258, with the legend adventvs avgg and the three riders—Gallienus, Valerian II and Saloninus—were struck for Gallienus119 and for Gallienus and Valerian II;120 while a later bronze piece, dating from the sole reign of Gallienus, shows the Emperor riding unaccompanied, with his right hand raised in salute.121 The type of the Emperor accompanied by Victory and soldiers is repeated on bronze medallions of Claudius Gothicus (c. 268),122 Tacitus (c. 275)123 and Probus (281 to 282).124 A bronze piece with the three obverse busts of Carus, Carinus and Numerianus shows the three Emperors, each with his right hand raised, riding slowly along, attended by Victory, Virtus (?) and several sodiers.125 Our last bronze adventus medallion, a piece of Maximian, portrayed in consular dress on the obverse, shows the two Augusti in slow procession with Victory and a soldier (adventvs avgg / s c).126 It obviously dates from November 20, 303, when Diocletian appeared in Rome with his colleague to celebrate his vicennalia: Maximian was consul in 303 for the seventh time.

All remaining adventus medallions are of gold and all, with one exception, show the same design—the Emperor riding slowly towards the left, unaccompanied, a sceptre in his left hand, his right hand raised in greeting; and, again with one exception, none of their types occur upon the regular gold coinage. This gold series begins with two small pieces, one of Aurelian, issued, perhaps, for his triumphal entry into Rome in 274,127 and the other of Probus, known from a single specimen at Gotha,128 which differs from the ordinary adventus aurei not only in weight but also in the fact that its type shows the Emperor unaccompanied by the subsidiary figure which their types include:129 like Probus' bronze medallions, it was probably struck for his triumphal entry into Rome during the winter of 281 to 282. Most interesting of all adventus medallions is the unique 9-solidi piece of Constantine I in the Beistegui Collection in Paris.130 The obverse bears the legend invictvs constantinvs max avg and busts, side by side, of Constantine and Sol. The reverse shows the legend felix adventvs avgg nn and Constantine on horseback,  preceded by Victory and followed by Virtus (?)—a "felix adventus" indeed, for the occasion of the piece was Constantine's arrival at Milan in 313 for that conference with Licinius of which the outcome was the "Edict of Milan", granting freedom of worship to the Catholic Church; thus the Emperor's companion, the Unconquered Sun, was conquered by the Sun of Righteousness. All the other medallions of the series are 1½-solidi pieces. They were issued in the name of Constantine I (felix adventvs avg n), 131 Crispus (felix adventvs caess nn),132 Constantius II (felix adventvs avg n and gloria reipvblicae),133 Valentinian I (felix adventvs avggg and felix adventvs avg m 134—the latter struck for Valentinian's solemn entry into Milan in the autumn of 364), Valens (felix adventvs avg n,135 felix adventvs avggg 136 and gloria romanorvm),137 Gratian (felix adventvs avg n),138 Valentinian II (felix adventvs avg n),139 Honorius (adventvs d n avg—the Emperor is nimbate)140 and Marcianus (adventvs s d n avg—the Emperor is nimbate).141

End Notes
66 Pl. XVII, 7. Not quoted by Cohen and Gnecchi. But cf. RIC IV, i, p. 194, no. 757.
67 G II, tavv. 99, no. 1; 100, nos. 1, 2 (Pl. XLIV, 4); 101, no. 9; III, tav. 153, no. 8.
68 Trans. Internal. Num. Congr. 1936, pp. 182 f.
69 BMCCRE III, p. cxlv.
70 II SS. 174 ff.
71 This is suggested by the analogy of the Ara Pacis Augustae and the Ara Fortunae Reducis. The main festival held in connection with each of these altars was on the anniversary of their foundation, not of their dedication (E. Welin, "Die beiden Festtage der Ara Pacis Augustae." ΔAPAГMA Martino P. Nilsson dedicalum, 1939, pp. 500 ff.).
72 Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 42, Nr. 3563 (Pl. IV, 9); Vienna: Nr. 86360 (not quoted by Cohen and Gnecchi).
73 G II, p. 100, no. 5; tavv. 108, no. 9; 109, no. 6.
74 Loc. Cit., p. 180.
75 G II, tav. 109, no. 5.
76 G II, tav. 39, no. 6.
77 G II, tav. 79, nos. 2, 3, 4. It has been well observed that the differenee in posture between Fortuna Dux and Fortuna Redux corresponds to the differenee between her "active" and "passive" roles (BMCCRE IV, p. clxxxi).
78 G II, tav. 85, no. 1.
79 Vita Commodi, 9, 1.
80 G II, tav. 92, nos. 2, 3. Gnecchi's no. 1 is certainly false.
81 Herodian ii, 15, 5:—Σεουηρος ... νομίοματά τε αύτο κοχναι έχέτρεψε.
82 G II, tav. III, nos. 4, 9, 10; Kubitschek Taf. 9, Nr. 140. Pl. XVII, 8.
83 G II, tav. 113, no. 9.
84 G III, tav. 156, no. 19.
85 BMCCRE III, pl. 52, no. 14.
86 G III, tav. 145, nos. 8, 9.
87 G II, tav. 39, nos. 7, 8, 9. Cf. the contemporary gen p r coins (Strack II, Taf. 1, Nr. 67).
88 G II, tav. 66, no. 4. A particularly fine specimen was in trade with Mϋnzhandlung Basel in Sept., 1938 (cast in B. M.).
89 Strack II, SS. 133, 137.
90 G II, tav. 42, no. 2.
91 G II, tav. 66, no. 7.
92 G II, tav. 74, no. 5.
93 G II, tav. 61, nos. 4, 5.
94 G II, p. 31, no. 32.
95 G II, tav. 79, no. 3.
96 Vide supra p. 104.
97 Modena. This piece is not a pseudo medallion, since its type is not a mere reproduction of the prof avgg sestertii of this year ( RIC IV, i, p. 197, no. 780). It appears to be genuine, in spite of its exceptional character.
98 G II, tavv. 99, nos. 9, 10; 101, nos. 7, 8. For the "schema" of this profectio type, and of the corresponding adventus types, cf. early third-century reliefs depicting the journey of a knight to the next world (PBSR xv, 1939, pp. 27 ff., pls. 1, 2 and fig. 1).
99 G II, tav. 101, no. 5.
100 Paris: no. 30; G II, p. 91, no. 37.
101 G II, tav. 105, no. 8; Jameson Collection Catalogue IV, pl. 25, no. 511. Pl. XVII, 9.
102 G III, tav. 153, no. 15.
103 G II, tav. 104, no. 1.
104 RIC III, pp. 263, no. 604 (Commodus as Caesar); 401, no. 294.
105 G I, tav. 21, no. 6; II, tav. 38, no. 1.
106 Strack I, SS. 130 f.
107 G II, tav. 59, no. 5; p. 27, nos. 2, 3.
108 NC 1906, p. 98.
109 G II, tav. 92, nos. 7, 8 (Pl. XLIII, 6).
110 Vide supra p. 104.
111 G I, tav. 24, no. 8.
112 Evans Collection Sale Catalogue 1934, pl. 52, no. 1665. Pl. XVII, 10.
113 G II, pp. 103, no. 2; 104, no. 1; tav. Ill, nos. 1, 2.
114 G II, tav. 111. no. 8.
115 G II, tavv. 109, no. 9 (wrongly assigned to Philip I and Philip II); 113, nos. 2, 3; III, tav. 154, no. 9.
116 G II, tav. 113, no. 7.
117 G III, tavv. 153, no. 17 (wrongly assigned to Philip I and Otacilia); 155, nos. 9, 11, 12.
118 G II, tav. 116, no. 2.
119 G II, tav. 113, no. 8.
120 G I, tav. 27, no. 10; II, tav. 109, no. 10 (wrongly assigned to Philip I and Philip II).
121 G III, tav. 154, no. 13.
122 G II, tav. 117, no. 1.
123 G II, tav. 118, nos. 2, 3.
124 G II, tav. 119, nos. 3, 4, 5, 6.
125 G II, tav. 123, no. 10. 11.
126 G III, p. 94, no. 62 (Pl. IV, 7).
127 G I, tav. 3, nos. 9, 10, 11.
128 Not quoted by Cohen and Gnecchi (Pl. II, 6).
129 E. g. RIC V, ii, pl. I, no. 2.
130 J. Babelon, op. cit., pl. 13, no. 233. Pl. XVII, 11.

V. Allocutions

Adlocutiones or harangues, delivered by the Emperor to the Praetorian Guard or to other units of the imperial armies, had figured on the current coinage for more than a century before they confront us as occasions for medallion issues. The normal adlocutio scene is well known—the Emperor, or Emperors, standing to right or left on a low platform, set to one side of the design, accompanied by one or more officials and addressing a group of soldiers below. The coins struck by Gaius, Nero (adlocvt coh), Galba (adlocvtio), Nerva (adlocvtio avg) and Hadrian (coh praetor) probably refer in a general way to friendly relations between the Emperor and his troops; we need not suppose that they, or their second- and third-century successosrs, were necessarily issued for distribution when an adlocutio was held. Hadrian's famous exercitus sestertii, depicting harangues to provincial forces, were minted long after the adlocutiones in question, if actual and not merely symbolic, must have taken place. The earliest adlocutio medallion was struck for Lucius Verus in 162 to 163.142 One specimen is "framed"; and there can be little doubt that these large bronze pieces were struck for presentation to officers on the actual occasion of the imperial discourse. A later medallion, struck in 166, shows Verus commending a boyish figure—the youthful Commodus (?)—to the troops.143 Commodus' adlocutio coins and medallions bear a new legend—fides exercit: the medallions all belong to his eleventh tribunician year (185-186)144 and may have been issued for an adlocutio held on New Year's Day, 186, reasserting the loyalty of the Guards to Commodus after the fall of Perennis in the previous year. Septimius Severus' adlocutio medallions, minted in 194 (?) and 195 (tr p ii(?) and tr p iii) were probably "programme"' pieces distributed in Rome during the Emperor's absence and anticipating a harangue to be delivered to the Guards on his return (fidei milit).145 Adlocutio medallions of the normal type appear continuously throughout the third century, a splendid group of large bronze pieces of Gordian III, struck between 240 and 244, being specially noteworthy.146 Under Probus the adlocutio occurs in gold147 as well as in brone;148 and a new variation shows the imperial platform in the centre, with soldiers grouped around.149 The series closes with this centralized version of the adlocutio scene on Constantine I's small silver piece, struck c. 315, with the legend salvs reipvblicae.150

End Notes

131 G I, tav. 6, no. 13. Variant with sis in exergue (Vierordt Collection Sale Catalogue 1923, pl. 59, no. 2641). Pl. XVIII, 1. Two other similar pieces of Constantine, stolen from Paris, with the legends adventvs avg n and adventvs avgvsti are quoted by Gnecchi (p. 15, nos. 1,2).
132 G I, tav. 8, no. 16.
133 G I, tavv. 10, no. 10; 11, nos. 2, 4. Jameson Collection Catalogue IV, pl. 26, no. 535. Pl. XVIII, 2. Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 47, Nr. 4143. Pl. XVIII, 3. NZ 1926, Taf. 2, Nr. 1. Pl. XVIII, 4.
134 G I, p. 35, no. 3 (Paris no. 48, mint-mark smtr); tav. 14, no. 6; Bansa, op. cit., pp. 58-60; B. M. piece, mint-mark med.
135 G I, tav. 14, no. 13: Kubitschek Taf. 19, Nr. 353. Pl. XVIII, 5. Jameson Collection Catalogue IV, pl. 26, no. 537. Pl. XVIII, 6.
136 The Hague. Pl. XVIII, 7. G I, p. 36, no. 2.
137 G I, tav. 14, no. 12. This type and legend also occur on ordinary solidi (C2 viii, p. 103, no. 14).
138 A. Evans bequest, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Pl. XVIII, 8. Not quoted by Cohen and Gnecchi.
139 G I, p. 38, nos. 1, 2. Pl. XVIII, 9.
140 G I, tav. 19, no. 10.
141 J. Sabatier, Monnaies byzantines I, p. 123, no. 1.
142 G II, tavv. 70, no. 3; 72, no. 3. Cf. the "framed" piece of Marcus (G II, tav. 58, no. 3, 171 to 172).

VI. Liberalities

The liberalitates or money distributions by the Emperor to the poor of Rome (and of provincial cities, under the later Empire) were occasions of medallion issues which need not detain us long. Celebrated with considerable frequency upon the regular currency, on coins minted either commemoratively, after the liberalitas had taken place, or possibly as part of the imperial bounty itself, these largesses were essentially popular and proletarian events. It was only incidentally, as it were, that they occasioned the issue of medallions destined primarilly, it may be, for those officials who had personally assisted the Emperor on the actual day. The familiar scene shows the imperial philanthropist seated on a platform with Liberalitas and other supporters, distributing cash to the citizens below. The series begins151 with the bronze pieces, large and small, struck by Alexander Severus; among them are small s c pieces of which the distinctively medallic style justifies their inclusion among medallions.152 The types continue, with little variation, under Gordian III, Philip I, Valerian and Gallienus.153 But we may also ascribe to a liberalitas occasion the bronze type of Philip I depicting a great precinct in which the Emperor and his son (?), enthroned and flanked by rows of other seated figures, are distributing

largess to a crowd.154 Fourth-century types are comparatively few. Bronze pieces of Constantius II and Magnentius with the legend largitio show the Emperor enthroned to the front, while Roma, on the right, lays her hand on his shoulder and Constantinoplis, on the left, bends down to receive the money which he pours into her hands.155 The rest are "Fest-aurei," which portray the Emperor erect in a frontal chariot, flinging coins to an imaginary crowd (Constantine I, Constantius II, Constans, Valentinian I, Valentinian II and Eugenius).156 Finally, we may append to the liberalitas series two bronze medallions labelled "munificence." One, issued by Antoninus Pius on the occasion of the public beast-shows of 149, displays a prowling lion (mvnificentia);157 the second piece, struck by Gordian III in 244, depicts the Colosseum where his shows were held (mvnificentia gordiani avg).158

End Notes

143 G II, tavv. 74, no. 1 (Pl. XLII, 4); 75, no. 10.
144 G II, tav. 78, nos. 6-9.
145 G II, tav. 93, nos. 6-9. The legend suggests hopes for the continued loyalty of the troops.
146 G II, tav. 103, nos. 1-7 (Pl. XLV, 2). N. B. also (1) fine bi-metallic adlocutio type of Alexander Severus (Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 32, Nr. 2513). Pl. XVIII, 10. (2) Small Æ type of Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea (G III, p. 44, no. 14). Pl. XVIII, 11.
147 G I, tav. 3, no. 16.
148 N. B. very small, but medallic, piece of Probus in Copenhgenn (G III, p. 69, no. 64). Pl. XVIII, 12.
149 G II, tav. 119, no. 1.
150 G I, tav. 29, no. 3.
151 The Hadrianic piece quoted by Gnecchi (II, p. 6, no. 36) cannot be verified.
152 G II, tav. 98, nos. 8, 9; III, tav. di suppl., no. 3.
153 Pupienus' piece in the B. M. is very doubtful (G II, tav. 102, no. 10).
154 G II, tavv. 107, no 5; 109, no. 3. Cf. also single figure of Liberalitas on small Æ pieces of Alexander Severus and Julia Mamaea ( RIC IV, ii, p. 123, no. 663). Pl. XVIII, 13.
155 G II, tavv. 136, no. 7; 138, no. 4.
153 Vide supra p. 40. We might also add to this series the processional type of Constantius II, Valens, Arcadius and Honorius with the Emperor, or Emperors, standing in a frontal six-horse chariot, on the strength of the wreaths, laurel-leaves, money-chests etc. in the exergue, which are suggestive of imperial largitiones (G I, tavv. 10, no. 8; 11, no. 1; 15, no. 1; 36, no. 15; cf. Delbrϋck, op. cit, Taf. 16, Nr. 3; S. 69, Abb. 25).
157 G II, tav. 46, no. 5.
158 G II, tav. 104, nos. 5, 6.


I. The Character and Status of Recipients

Archaeological discoveries have so far failed to disclose the name of one single recipient of Roman medallions. Any conclusions we may draw as to the status of the donees must be based upon indirect evidence, upon the internal evidence of the medallions themselves and upon the external evidence of find spots. The fact that the great majority of medallions are severally represented by only a comparativey small number of examples, while not a few are known from one specimen alone, indicates that they were minted for distribuiion to circles of selected individuals. Excellence of technique and often exquisite artistic finish suggest that the minting authorities had persons of taste and culture in view; and the choice of reverse types tells the same story. While it is true to say that medallion types do, up to a point, fit into the general scheme for ventilating news and ideas laid down for the ordinary coin types in any given period, marked differences still remain. On the earlier medallions, at any rate, allusions are often less obvious, the subjects chosen of more specialized interest, than on the contemporary coinage; and in cases where the subjects of medallions and coins coincide, they are often treated on the former with a wealth of detail which only persons with training in art and letters could fully appreciate. For instance, it is noteworthy that Hadrian's "imperial idea," boosted so vigorously on the coins of his famous province series, has left little impress upon his medallions. This was a popular appeal, addressed to the world at large. For the élite were reserved special types relating to the Emperor's personal life, tastes and qualities or reflecting public affairs through the indirect medium of mythology. Specially instructive from this standpoint are the numismatic preparations made by Antoninus Pius for celebrating in 147 the nine-hundredth anniversary of the "Birthday of Rome." Whereas on the coins of his third consulship the familiar groups of the wolf and twins and of Aeneas fleeing with Anchises and Ascanius from Troy1> sufficed to stir appropriate sentiments in the hearts of the rank and file, for the chosen few Pius issued a series of splendid medallions on which were depicted, in the most minute detail, scenes from the early history and legends of ancient Rome—some, it would seem, directly inspired by passages of Livy, Vergil and Ovid.2 With the later Antonines direct allusions to contemporary events become more frequent on medallions; but again the medallion types are specially chosen and strike a more personal and individual note. Under Commodus, indeed, and on into the third century, this distinction in content between medallions and coins is sometimes blurred: medallion types are occasionally but coin motifs rendered either with additional detail or simply on a more imposing scale upon large bronze flans. But such repetitions are still in the minority; and, in general, apart from exceptional cases which seem to suggest an abnormal extension of the list of donees, the number of extant specimens of any given type is not appreciably larger than in earlier times. In the second half of the third century, when coin designs grow comparatively more monotonous and stereotyped, medallion types, whether in bronze, silver or gold, stand out in contrast for their variety and clearly mirror the distinction and individuality of their recipients. It is only the Tres Monetae medallions from Valerian to Diocletian and Maximian which show any definite symptoms of mass production: and even there the monotonous reverse is combined with an extraordinarily varied repertory of obverse types. The meaning of these pieces will be discussed later on.3 Here we may note them as an outstanding instance of the occasional extension of medallions to a wider circle. Constantine I's Urbs Roma and Constantinopolis medallions afford a parallel instance at a later date and on a more restricted scale.

There are, indeed, a certain number of medallions of which the content offers a fairly reliable clue as to the exact profession or position of the persons for whom they were designed. Such, to take the most obvious example, are those with legends and types directly alluding to the army. Besides the adlocutio medallions discussed in the last chapter and the numerous pieces with the more familiar military scenes and legends—fides exercitvs, fides militvm, gloria exercitvs, concordia exercitvs, virtvs romani exercitvs, matri castrorvm 4 and the like, a special group of unusual types, all issued by Gallienus, calls for comment, cohors tertia praetoria, with the Emperor standing between standards (gold),5 and [qvarta (?)]/chors (?) / praeto / riae within a wreath (bronze "strike" from gold medallion dies ?)6 were clearly destined for officers of the Guards, fides / mili / tvm in a laurel wreath (gold) implies donees of a similar kind.7 But the most interesting of the group shows the legend gallie / nvs ob / fidem re / servatam in a laurel wreath (gold).8 Gallienus as it were congratulates himself that the allegiance of his army has been "safeguarded" or "maintained"; and the natural recipients of such a souvenir piece were the officers of the troops whose loyalty had stood the test. The medallion is dated from the Emperor's fifth consulship (262 to 263); and J. Babelon refers it to the incident of 261 to 262, when Aureolus, commanding Gallienus' new cavalry corps, allowed the rebel Postumus to slip away without breaking openly with his sovereign.9

It is possible that we have in the medallions which present the heir-apparent or, later, the reigning Emperor in the guise of Princeps Iuventutis another instance of legend and type providing a clue to the status of donees; and that such pieces

were intended primarily for distribution to prominent members of the Iuventus itself, the military "youth movement" for upper class boys—iuvenes nobilissimi. After a few sporadic issues, such as the notorious gold piece of Augustus at Este, struck in honor of Gaius and Lucius Caesa,10 and the "framed" bronze piece of Geta, showing Septimius Severus, Caracalla and Geta on horseback in full career,11 type and legend settled down in the third century to a more or less fixed norm—the prince standing in military dress, with his title principi ivventvtis in the dedicatory dative case.12 But it was not until the late third, and early fourth, centuries that the Princeps Iuventutis became to any degree a common medallion type. It now appears exclusively on gold13 medallions struck on a carefully graduated scale of values, wherein we may see reflected the hardening, as it were, of Roman society into fixed social categories determined by birth. If iuvenes nobilissimi were in fact the recipients of the Princeps Iuventuiss pieces, the value of their gifts was now proportioned to that degree of nobilitas into which they had severally been born. The possibility that these pieces were struck less to do honor to the acclamation as Princeps Iuventutis of an imperial person than with a view to their function as presents for the Iuventus is supported by two facts: first, that the figure of the Princeps on the reverse does not always correspond in age and appearance with the imperial portrait on the obverse, and, secondly, that the date of issue does not always tally with the date at which the acclamation of the person portrayed on the obverse actually took place. The 10-aurei piece from the Arras hoard struck in the names of Constantius Chlorus and Galerius on the occasion of their promotion to the rank of Caesar in 293 bears on its reverse the legend princi-pvm ivventvtis and the two Caesars offering sacrifice.14 Here the date of issue and the date of the acclamation of the Caesars as Principes Iuventutis do appear to tally; and, moreover, the bearded Principes of the reverse are obviously the contemporaries of, and identical with, the busts on the obverse. On the other hand, a 2½-aurei piece of Constantius probably of the same date as the Arras medallion, in view of the close resemblance of its obverse portrait to that of the latter, shows on its reverse, not a mature, bearded man, but a mere boy—a quasi-ideal figure, the personification, it may be, of imperial youth.15 Date of issue and of occasion and obverse portrait and reverse figure all tally again on a l½-aurei piece of Constantine I as Caesar, struck, presumably, in 306, when Constantine

was accepted as Caesar by Galerius.16 But his second Princeps Iuventutis medallion, a 2-solidi piece, while showing an obverse portrait and a reverse figure which more or less correspond, was issued at least six years later than the proclamation of Constantine as Princeps. It bears the mint-mark post; and as the Ostian mint was opened by Maxentius in 309, passed into Constantine's hands after Maxentius' defeat in 312 and was closed in 313, the piece must date from 312 to 313.17 At this time, it would seem, the reigning Augusti all reaffirmed, as it were, their relation with the Iuventus, for in addition to this medallion principi ivventvtis solidi were struck at the Ostian mint for Constantine's colleagues Maximinus Daza and Licinius I.18 Discrepancy in age between obverse portrait and reverse figure confront us again in a series of 1½-, 2- and 4½-solidi pieces, all struck at Trier, which show elderly portraits of Constantine, radiate or helmeted, on the obverse and the Princeps Iuventutis as a young boy on the reverse.19 It is possible that this medallion series dates from 324, the year of Constantine's victory over Licinius and of Constantius II's proclamation as Caesar and Princeps Iuventutis, and that the youthful Princeps of the reverse is Constantius II.20 Princeps Iuventutis medallions with a youthful Princeps on the reverse were also issued by Constantine I in the names of Constantine II and Constantius II at various dates unconnected with their original reception of the title and on occasions appropriate for distributing gifts to members of the Iuventus. A 1½-solidi piece struck at Sirmium for Constantine II shows an exceptionally boyish obverse portrait of the youthful Caesar.21 The mint at Sirmium was opened in 320 and the piece may have been issued in honor of Constantine II's first consulship, assumed by him in that year at the age of three. The existence of a half-solidus of Constantine I inscribed vot / xx with the mint-mark thes 22 fixes the date of two parallel pieces of Constantine II and Constantius II, which bear the same version of the Thessalonican mint-mark.23 This date was July, 325, the occasion of the first celebration of their father's vicennalia during his absence from Rome for the Council of Nicaea. To the same occasion, or possibly to 326, the year of Constantine II's decennalia and of the second celebration of his father's vicennalia, may be ascribed another pair of medallions minted for the two brothers at Constantinople.24 The year 326 was also the year of Constantius II's first consulship; and a 2-solidi Princeps Iuventutis piece struck in his name at

Trier shows him on the obverse in consular dress.25 Constantine II's last group of Princeps Iuventutis medallions can be dated precisely. They show a new type of reverse with the Caesar setting his foot on the knee of a suppliant, who kneels before him with outstretched arms, and the legend principia ivventvtis / sarmatia.26 In 332, in answer to the Sarmatians' appeal, Constantine II proceeded to the Danube frontier and inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Goths: our medallions must commemorate this victory. While Constantine II was fighting on the Danube, Constantius II was sent to take his place in Gaul. To the occasion of his arrival in the Gallic capital we may ascribe his 1½-solidi piece minted in Trier, the obverse portrait of which is decidedly more mature and bears a very close resemblance to that on his brother's principia ivventvtis / sarmatia medallions: the reverse shows the usual Princeps figure.27 The Princeps Iuventutis series closes with a 3-solidi piece of Decentius, struck at Trier in 352, the year of his consulship, for on the obverse the Caesar wears consular dress. The figure of the Princeps on the reverse is a realistic portrait of Decentius.28

The establishment, with Constantine I, of a fixed and carefully graded scale of multiples certainly implies the grading of the recipients of these multiples in a corresponding hierarchy of social values. The preponderance of 1½- and 2-solidi pieces over the higher multiples, in hoards and elsewhere, is but natural. Minor officials drawn from the less exalted ranks of society, were obviously more numerous: those who were high enough up in the social scale to merit the more expensive prizes were comparatively few. Under the early Empire it had been customary for rich persons on the occasion of banquets to distribute gifts in kind (apophoreta) or money (sportulae) to guests and clients graded according to rank. So, in the later third and fourth centuries, distinguished Romans, celebrating births or marriages, or their entry upon a consulship or other office, made presents to their friends according to an ascending scale of values—money gifts, or actual baskets (sportulae) of exact weight with a money significance, to less important persons, ivory diptychs to high officials and the same in gold settings to the Emperor himself. As O. Seeck has pointed out,29 money medallions of the fourth century were the imperial counterpart of these private gifts. Very rarely the types themselves suggest, as in the case of the Princeps Iuventutis medallions, or actually reveal, the donee's precise status. For instance the senatvs gold pieces (Emperor standing in senatorial dress), of which we know three examples, two equivalent to 4½ solidi and one to 3,

were obviously designed for senators,30 while those with the legend eqvis romanvs (Emperor on horseback to right), of which at least sixteen specimens have come down to us, fifteen worth 1½ solidi and one worth 2, were clearly meant for knights.31 But normally we can only gauge the general degree of a recipient's nobility and importance from the size and weight of the gifts, measured according to a scale which ascends from the "Fest-aurei" of 5+ grammes and the lower multiples, worth 1½, 2, 2½, 3 solidi, and so on up to the giant medallions of Constantius II, Valens and Justinian, worth 30, 36, 48 and even 72 solidi apiece.32

The information derived from our knowledge of provenances within the confines of the Empire is of an equally general character. Apart from the Monte della Giϋstizia, the proximity of which to the Castra Praetoria makes it not improbable that the numerous medallions found there had been owned by officers of the Guards,33 no other Roman find spot tells us anything definite of the actual status of the donees. Obviously we should not expect Pompeii to yield more than a few sporadic medallions, since it was destroyed before the issue of the bronze medallion series proper began. But the fact that a site so continuously occupied throughout the imperial period, and so thoroughly explored in modern times, as Ostia has so far yielded the record of but one medallion may be significant, suggesting that men who pursued the more bourgeois avocations of commerce and industry did not as a rule qualify for these awards. In the provinces we have already noted the preponderance among recorded find spots, as far as bronze medallions are concerned, of great military headquarters, frontier stations and important centres of local and imperial administration—cities in which legionary commanders and other higher officers of the army, provincial governors and representatives of the Emperor, higher-grade civil servants and government officials were permanently resident or constantly passing through.34 Such factors as theft or concealment, in the case both of isolated pieces and of hoards, explain the fortuitous and uninformative character of many of the provenances of gold medallions. Meanwhile, the substantial number of gold find spots known in Pannonia and the northern Balkan provinces may reflect the military and political importance of those regions in the third and fourth centuries; just as finds on the actual boundaries of the Empire reflect the concentration of military effort on frontier defense. Nor is it without interest that the one gold piece recorded from Great Britain should have come to light near Cardiff, where a "Saxon Shore" fort was erected under Diocletian, the very Emperor whose image and superscription this medallion bears.35

There can, however, be little doubt as to the status of those who owned the large gold pieces of ex-Dacian, "free" German and southern Scandinavian provenance. Literature has revealed what archaeology has so far denied, the name of one recipient of medallions—Chilperic, the sixth-century Frankish king, whom, as we saw,36 the Emperor Tiberius II presented with "aurei" of the largest size, worth 72 solidi each. Chilperic's precursors in such favors may be nameless; but this transaction was not the first of its kind. From what we know of Rome's dealings with the northern tribesmen during the third and fourth centuries it is clear that she had many occasions for bestowing on barbarian princes gifts of a complimentary, remuneratory and even propitiatory character.37 And when we discover outside the Empire, either singly, as in East Prussia and Denmark or in hoards as at Szilágy-Sόmlyό and Boroczzce, gold medallions often of quite spectacular dimensions embellished with ornamental rings or set in the most elaborate frames of non-Roman workmanship,38 it is obvious for whom they had been designed. The richness of the Germanic settings is proof of how highly the medallions themselves were prized.39 Again, where the protection afforded by frames was lacking, pieces were not infrequently rubbed almost smooth on one or both sides by constant contact with the persons of their assiduous wearers. Such gifts, we may conclude, were thoroughly acceptable and seldom failed to make their appeal.

End Notes

1 R/C III, pl. 1. no. 19.
2 Vide infra pp. 143 f., 193 f. Cf. CR 1925, pp. 170 ff.; AJ 1943, pp. 43 ff.
3 Vide infra pp. 148 f.
4 E. g. Julia Domna (G II, tav. 94, no. 10); Julia Mamaea (G II, tav. 100, no. 9; III, tav. 153, no. 3).
5 G I, p. 6, no. 2.
6 Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, S. 81, Nr. 2985. A. Evans bequest, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Pl. XIX, 1.
7 G I, p. 7, no. 8. Pl. XIX, 2.
8 J. Babelon, op. cit., pl. 12, no. 229 (Pl. iii, 12).
9 CAH xii, p. 186. Cf. Mélanges offerts à M. Nicolas Jorga, 1933, pp. 109 ff.
10 AA 1928, S. 122, Abb. 3; cf. S. L. Cesano in Atti e memorie del Istituto Italiano di Numismatica 1934, pp. 107 ff., tav. 7, no. 3 and Numismatica augustea, 1937, pp. 32 ff, tav. 5, nos. 1,2. Pl. XIX, 3.
11 G II, tav. 96, no. 3.
12 E. g. G III, tav. 152, no. 12 (Diadumenianus); II, tav. 108, nos. 7, 8 (Philip II) (Pl. XLV, 5); II, tav. 110, no. 9 (Hostilianus); II, tav. 116, no. 5 (Saloninus).
13 The bronze pieces of Crispus and Constantine II (G II, tav. 133, nos. 6, 9, 10) are either false or highly dubious.
14 NNM 28, 1926, pl. 1 (Pl. IX, 4). The very unusual and interesting use of the genitive case on the reverse must denote "[the sacrifice] of the Principes Iuventutis." For parallel uses of the genitive on imperial coins see the "republican" issues of Clodius Macer, the Civil Wars and Galba (BMCCRE, I. pls. 49, nos. 5, 6, 9. 24; 50, no. 4; 51, no. 24; 55, no. 13).
15 G I, tav. 5. no. 11.
16 Berlin. Not quoted by Cohen and Gnecchi. Pl. XIX, 4.
17 >Pl. XIX, 5. Maurice I, pl. 19, no. 14. On grounds of similarity of obverse portraiture we might ascribe to the same date as the Ostian piece the two principi ivventvtis medallions of Constantine from Arras, worth 9 solidi (Aréthuse, Jan., 1924, pl. 8, no. 9 (Pl. IX, 5)) and 2 solidi (Jameson Collection Catalogue IV, pl. 26, no. 531 (Pl. IX, 6)) respectively and with obverse portraits and reverse figures which again roughly correspond in age. Constantine's title invict on the latter piece recalls the great adventus gold piece of 313 (vide supra pp. 108).
18 Maurice I, p. 288, nos. 10, 11.
19 G I, tav. 7, nos. 11-14.
20 Cf. S. L. Cesano, Rassegna Numismatica 1911, pp. 33-92. G I, tav. 13, no. 7 (Constantius II) may belong to the same series.
21 I, tav. 9, no. 3.
22 NZ 1930, S. 44.
23 NZ 1930. Taf. 2, Nrr. 5, 8. Pl. XIX, 6, 7.
24 G I, p. 24, no. 9 (= Constantine II, stolen from Paris, copy in Berlin: cf. Pisciculi Franz Joseph Dölger dargeboten, 1939, Taf. II, Nr. 2. Pl. XIX, 8); tav. 13, no. 5 (= Constantius II).
25 G I, tav. 13, no. 6.
26 G I, tav. 9, nos. 1, 2 (with mint-mark tr); Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 46, Nr. 4079 (without the mint-mark and showing a deeper obverse bust, but doubtless also minted at Trier). Pl. XIX, 9. The use of the word "principia," instead of the usual "principi," on the reverse should be noted. Mattingy (Roman Coins, p. 243) interprets it as "the first stage of military training for the career of Emperor." But as a parallel to "princeps" (= "#CHief of the Iuventus") some notion of "first in rank" or "#CHief," such as "front line" or "#CHief's headquarters" or even "#CHief of staff" would seem to be implied (cf. Frontinus, Strat. II, v, 30: "tempus elegit, quo missa principia quietem omnibus castrenibuss dabant").
27 Trau Collection Sale Catalogue 1935, Taf. 49, Nr. 4263. Pl. XIX, 10.
28 The Hague. Not quoted by Cohen and Gnecchi. For the obverse see Delbruck, op. cit., Taf. 12, Nr. 1. Pl. XIX, 11.
29 ZN 1898, S. 17 ff.
30 G I, tav. 7, no. 17; Grueber, pl. 57, no. 2. Pl. XX, 1.
31 G I, tav. 6, no. 12; NZ 1930, Taf. 2, Nr. 11. Pl. XX, 2.
32 Cf. F. Lenormant, "Le poids des médaillons d'or impérieux" (RN 1867, pp. 127 ff.); La monnaie dans l'antiquité, I, pp. 13 ff.
33 Vide supra p. 60.
34 Vide supra p. 61.
35 NC 1900, p. 32, pl. 3, no. 1.

II. The Uses of Roman Medallions

These gold medallions of the later Empire, found beyond the confines of the Imperium Romanum and decked with rings and frames of barbaric technique, afford, of course, striking instances of one of the favorite and most obvious uses to which medallions were put by their recipients, namely their use as personal ornaments and jewellery. The transformation of ordinary gold and silver coins into jewels by this device of adding rings and mounts or by setting them in objects such as precious vessels is a common phenomenon. Among the earliest examples of this process is the Augustan denarius, set in a frame while still in almost mint condition, which came to light in the grave of a British chieftain at Lexden near Colchester.40 Fine examples of mounted aurei attached to necklaces are to be seen in the Cabinet des Médailles, Paris41 and in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.42 Single gold coins in elaborate settings are occasionally, and erroneously, classed as medallions—for instance, the deo avgvsto aureus of Gallienus at Padua, mounted in a wide, ornamental frame with a ring,43 and a mounted solidus of Honorius in Paris;44 while aurei and solidi equipped with rings and sometimes with simple settings are a not uncommon feature of great coin collections. The gold Dionysiac patera from Rennes in the Cabinet des Médailles, the rim of which is set with sixteen framed aurei of Emperors and Empresses ranging from Hadrian to Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, is an outstanding example of the ornamental application of coins to vessels.45 Under the later Empire an extensive use as jewels of coins no longer in circulation can be deduced from a sentence of Pomponius: "nomismatum aureorum vel argenteorum veterum, quibus pro gemmis uti solent, usus fructus legari potest."46 But gold medallions, with their higher intrinsic value, more imposing size and rarer types, pieces essentially decorative in character and issued, moreover, on special or solemn occasions as personal gifts, were almost asking, one might say, to be adapted as jewellery for their owners to display upon their persons or apply to some object of ornament or use. Of the few pre-Gallienic gold medallions which have come down to us two pieces of Caracalla in Paris are set in large octagonal frames of gold filigree work, one equipped with a ring.47 Of Gallienus' gold medallions a number have rings attached to them;48 while from Constantine I onwards frames and rings, or traces of rings, either attached to frames or directly to the medallion flans, are increasingly common. In all cases the ring is applied immediately, or almost immediately, above the Emperor's portrait, a proof that it was the obverse of such pieces, when worn as pendants or necklaces, that was meant to show; and this is borne out by the fact that it is the reverse of worn specimens that has generally suffered most.49 Moreover, when the frames are set with precious stones or engraved with designs, it is to the obverse side that such decorations are normally applied.50 But far more often, of course, medallions were converted into jewels by the simple expedient of boring a hole through the flan, into which a thread, wire or fine chain could be inserted and the piece suspended round the owner's neck. Such holes, pierced directly, or nearly directly, above the obverse head or bust, are of constant occurrence in gold medallions from the time of the Severi onwards: they are also found in small silver medallions of Constantinian date.51 Bronze medallions are occasionally found with a hole pierced through above the obverse portrait in such a way as to suggest that they too were used as "jewels" in the sense of being worn as ornaments. Before the beginning of the fourth century instances of this are extremely rare;52 among medallions of the later Empire, however, they grow considerably commoner.53 But other pieces show holes which are either not punched right through the flan54 or are bored through below,55 to one side of,56 or even through the centre of,57 the Emperor's or Empress's portrait, in positions which suggest that their purpose was not for suspension but for attachment to some object. Other pieces, again, are punched by two or more holes, which definitely rules out their use as pendants.58 Finally, we should note in this connection the hammering up of the edges of the flan on both sides—occasionally on one side only—which is found so frequently on bronze medallions, especially on those of the later period. The purpose of this must have been to insert the piece securely in some such object as a box or vessel, or in a piece of armor—a scabbard, corselet or the like, although no actual instance of a medallion discovered in such a position has come to the knowledge of the present writer.

One use of medallions for purposes other than those of ornament and decoration has been revealed in a most striking manner by the recent excavations in the Panfilo and Verano Catacombs.59 On both of these sites excavations in galleries untouched since ancient times have brought to light coins (both Roman and Greek imperial) and medallions affixed to the plaster on the walls surrounding the loculi or the terra-cotta slabs which covered their openings. Other pieces were found in the earth on the floor of the galleries, some with wall-plaster still adhering to one side, a proof that they had fallen from their original positions on the walls. In the Panfilo Catacombs the coins, which are of bronze and silver and number fiftysix in all, range from Trajan to Maxentius, the medallions, of which six are in bronze and one in silver, range from Hadrian to Valerian and Gallienus. The proportion of medallions to coins is high, in view of the formers' comparative rarity; and a similar proportion is to be observed in the pieces of the Verano find, where five medallions, three of bronze and two of silver, ranging from Commodus to Numerianus, have been discovered. As Serafini points out, the object of those who fixed these coins and medallions to the Catacomb walls cannot have been to mark the date of the burials, since pieces of Emperors widely separated from one another in time were found clustered round the same loculus. They must have been set there to serve as guides to relatives and friends of the deceased, enabling them to identify the resting place of particular individuals whose remains they had come to visit or venerate. All the medallions found fixed to the walls had their obverse facing the visitor, with the exception of one bronze of Antoninus Pius in the Panfilo Catacombs, the flan of which had been sliced through down the centre, so that both obverse and reverse could be fixed to the wall and exposed to view.60 The choice of the obverse, rather than of the reverse, type for exhibition may have been due to the fact that a portrait head or bust was easier to distinguish in the dim light than a more complicated reverse design; or else to Christian aversion to the display of pagan scenes and deities. The exceptional display of Pius' Minerva and Prometheus reverse type may possibly be explained by supposing that the piece in question was a specially valued and famous family possession. It is obvious, indeed, that these medallions were regarded as precious heirlooms, handed down in the family from one generation to another and preserved with the greatest care. In fact, two of the Panfilo bronze medallions, one of Lucius Verus61 and the other of Albinus,62 were found in a quite remarkably fine state of preservation, cherished from the date of their issue in 164 to 165 and 193 to 197 respectively to be affixed a century later, in something approaching mint condition, to the walls of a Christian tomb. These discoveries are of the first importance, for it is more than likely that the many hundreds of bronze medallions of known or very probable Catacomb provenance,63 the exact position of which when found no one troubled to record, were fixed in a similar manner to the walls of galleries, revealing this same attitude of respectful care and appreciation on the part of medallion owners and their heirs towards these gifts. An interesting parallel to the Catacomb finds came to light at Dunapentele (Intercisa) on the Danube in 1926, where a bronze medallion of Antoninus Pius in splendid condition was found in a late fourth-century grave.64

End Notes

36 Vide supra p. 24; cf. E. Babelon, op. cit. part i, p. 536; W. Wroth, Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum, I, p. 105.
37 Presentations of these gifts may have taken place on such occasions as that of Constantine I's tricennalia in 336, when the Emperor received solemn deputations from foreign states (Eusebius, Vita Constantini iv, 46, 47, 51).
38 For a full account of these settings and a discussonn of their motis see Alföldi, NK 1929-1930, SS. 17-25.
39 It had been remarked (Alföldi, op. cit., S. 11) that the Szilágy-Sόmlyό medallions must represent the collection of at least three generations of Germanic princes.
40 Archaeologia 1926-1927, p. 251, pl. 62, no. 2.
41 E. g. the "collier" found at Naix (Meuse).
42 E. g. necklaces from Egypt and from Petrijanec in Croatia in Saal xiv.
43 G I, tav. 2, no. 9.
44 Classified in the Cabinet des Médailles as gold medallion no. 56.
45 Reinach, Répertoire des reliefs grecs el romains, ii, 233.
46 Digest vii, 1, 28.
47 G I, tavv. 1, nos. 3, 6.
48 E. g. G I, tav. 3, nos. 4, 5.
49 E. g. G I, tavv. 5, no. 4; 6, no. 8; 7, no. 10. A fine gold piece of Constantius II in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, U. S. A., set in an elaborate openwork frame, is equally well preserved on both sides: it has no ring for suspension; but two sets of pendants are attached to the frame. Pl. XXI.
50 E. g. G I, tavv. 11, no. 8; 12, no. 1; 15, nos. 1, 2; 16, nos. 2, 3; 18, no. 4; 20, nos. 1, 2; Delbrϋck, op. cit., S. 89, Abb. 27.
51 E. g. G I. tavv. 28, no. 8; 29, nos. 3, 5. 11, 15.
52 E. g. G II, tavv. 53, no. 1 (Antoninus Pius); 77, no. 1 (Lucius Verus).
53 E. g. G II, tavv. 129, no. 10 (Licinius I); 131, no. 10 (Constantinopolis); 133, no. 4 (Crispus), 12 (Constantine II); 140, nos. 3 (Valentinian I), 6 (Procopius), 10 (Theodosius I).
54 E. g. G II, tavv. 52, no. 1 (Antoninus Pius); 77, no. 2 (Commodus); 115, no. 3 (Gallienus) (Pl. XLVI, S).
55 E. g. G II, tavv. 50, no. 1 (Antoninus Pius); 130, no. 8 (Constantine I); 133, no. 3 (Crispus); 139. no. 12 (Jovian); 140, no. 4 (Valens).
56 E. g. G II, tavv. 121, no. 2 (Probus); 137, no. 6 (Constantius II); 140, no. 8 (Gratian).
57 E. g. G II, tav. 133, no. 1 (Fausta).
58 E. g. G II, tavv. 92, no. 3 (Albinus); 139, no. 2 (Constantius Gallus). Vienna Nr. 21893 has three holes punched through it.
59 C. Serafini, op. cit. Vide supra pp. 59 f.
60 Serafini, op. cit., tav. 65, no. 5.
61 Serafini, op. cit., tav. 65, no. 8. Pl. XX, 3.
62 Serafini, op. cit., tav. 66, no. 2.
63 Vide supra p. 60.
64 NK 1926, S. 219, Nr. 1, Taf. 8, Nr. 4. Pl. XX, 4.




The study of Roman medallions reveals three main phases in their historical development corresponding, roughly, to the second, third and fourth centuries of our era respectively. Standing apart from the regular coinage and unaffected by the practical exigencies of currency supply in all three metals, medallions can claim to interpret in a specially penetrating way the political, cultural, and spiritual background of imperial history in the successive stages of its evolution. Thus the second century, from Trajan to Commodus, the period of the great imperial peace, when the Emperor was still Princeps, when the traditional polytheism of the Roman state was still a reality and when the widespread cultivation of art and letters by a leisured urban society attained its zenith, is, almost exclusively, the period of the bronze medallions proper, classical in style, civilian and "objective" in content and prized primarily for their artistic excellence and for the appeal made by their extensively varied types to a refined and educated taste. Both in quantity and in spectacular quality these bronze medallions reached their peak under Commodus. The imperial crisis of the third century, reckoned from the reign of Septimius Severus to that of Carinus and Numerianus, essentially the transitional phase of Roman imperial history, is represenedd by medallions correspondingly transitional in character. As Principatus is transformed into Dominatus, as peace, "the tranquillity of order," is exchanged for disorder and an almost unremitting state of war, so the medallions begin to close in, as it were, round the person of the Emperor and to strike an increasingly military note.1 Again, as the hold of official polytheism succumbs to the growing claims and attractions of the cult of the Emperor or of deities specially honored by imperial devotees, so on third-century medallions the denizens of the Graeco-Roman pantheon, with their wealth of artistic, antiquarian and literary interest, tend to vanish or to figure only in some specially intimate association with the imperial person. Throughout the century bronze medallions of high artistic merit continued to appear. They show that even in these troubled and, generally speaking, less cultured times works of art as such were still acceptable as imperial gifts; though from Gallienus onwards the choice of reverse designs for bronze is largely confined to that of the Tres Monetae type. Meanwhile the more materialistic outlook of the age is reflected in the issue of money medallions in progressively larger quantities, the silver issues beginning under Septimius Severus, the gold under Caracalla and both continuing on relatively modest lines down to the time of Valerian. With Gallienus, however, the output of "silver" or billon multiples grows strikingly more abundant; and although, after his reign, the billon series is merged in that of the bronze, the increased proportion of gold pieces issued by him is well maintained by Aurelian, Probus, Carus, Carinus and Numeri- anus. In the fourth century the Roman Empire as reorganized by Diocletian and Constantine passes into its final phase as an undisguised and absolute, but necessary, autocracy, entirely dependent for its maintenance and cohesion upon the Augustus and his colleagues, now that the cultural bonds of a widely diffused and prosperous bourgeois civilization were loosened by pressure from without and by social and economic disintegration within. Turning to the medallions, we observe that in a far higher proportion of types than ever before, the Emperor, or some other member of his family, appears in person and in a setting which may be described as ceremonial and hieratic rather than strictly historical. The remaining types—Victoria, Roma, Constantinopolis, imperial vota inscriptions and the like—recur so often and with so little variation that they fail to hold our attention on themselves, but seem to direct it onwards to the august imperial figure who looms behind them. Almost all types are now more or less "subjective" in character. As gifts, medallions were no longer designed to fascinate the cultured connoisseur or to delight the artistic eye. They had to satisfy a taste for outward display and a demand for objects ratable in monetary terms. The intrinsic worth of a piece was now the vital element. With the reign of Diocletian was inaugurated the series of large gold pieces, with that of Constantius II the series of large silver multiples; and it is in these, as contrasted with the dwindling bronze series, that the typical medallions of our third phase are to be sought. Moreover, it is in the types and style of the large gold pieces in particular that we find the concentrated essence of late-antique, as contrasted with earlier classical, art. The Dominus, the permeating spirit of this later art, is their constant theme; and in an age in which relief sculpture, with its greater ceremonial potentialities, had practically ousted sculpture in the round from the field, these medallion reliefs, with their static, centralized and frontal compositions, were peculiarly at home.2

This division of medallions into three successive phases obviously cannot be taken as absolute. At the end of our first phase, under Commodus, the tendencies of the second phase are foreshadowed in the content of the medallions and, to a lesser degree, in their style. The central phase shows "throw-back" to the first and reveals, towards its close, not a little that is characteristic of the third. When the third phase opens with Diocletian, who has been described as "the first to gather together into a completed whole the various experiments and expedients of his predecessors,"3 we find recorded on his medallions an attempt to revive, on restricted lines, polytheistic religion. The wolf and twins types of Constantine, struck in honor of Old Rome for the foundation of the New, suggest at least some faint reminiscence of the Roman history types of the Antonine age. So, too, such graphic, "objective" scenes as that of Londinium kneeling beside her walls and towers to welcome Constantius Chlorus on the famous Arras medallion of that Emperor, or the view of Trier and the Moselle on Constantine's double solidi, have their counterpart in the pictorial views of public buildings and temples which occur on medallions of Gordian III, Philip and Trebonianus Gallus.

End Notes
1 Cf. CAH xii, pp. 221 f.
2 Ibid., pp. 562, ff.
3 Ibid., p. 407.