Long Table 108. Imperial Legionary Coins and Civil Wars
Join Lecturer at the University of Arizona and ANS Summer Seminar Graduate Nathaniel Katz for this week’s Long Table. Imperial coins honoring particular legions are often seen as allusions to Mark Antony’s famous series of legionary coins. While accurate, that reading only scratches the surface. This lecture will argue that imperial legionary coins emerged in the Year of the Four Emperors as rival claimants used these coins as lynchpins of their messaging to their soldiers and as a way to frame their relationship to rivals and predecessors. In the peaceful years of the Flavian and Antonine dynasties, legionary coins lost their ominous association with civil war, but, in the Year of the Five emperors, Severus resurrected that earlier function to show his strength and connect himself to Marcus Aurelius and Augustus.