Coinage of the Ostrogoths in the British Museum

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1 Coinage of the Ostrogoths in the British Museum Elena Baldi A guide to types/all coins britishmusuem.org/ostrogoths 1

2 Coinage of Julius Nepos, Zeno, Odovacar and Theoderic I Mint of Rome Gold Solidus The solidi minted in this period are characterized by the obverse image of the emperor, with the helmeted, diademed and cuirassed bust of Zeno facing in a three-quarters position, with a spear and shield as well as the inscription with his name, always with legend break: P-ERP. On the reverse a personification of Victory is standing to the left, holding a long cross, with the inscription VICTORIA AVCCC and the mint mark COMOB or also COMOB. The various combinations of obverse inscription and mint marks on the reverse of the coins denote the variants recorded by Kent. 1. RIC X, 3205 BM ID: 1863, This type is characterized by the division of the inscription on the obverse in P- ERP and on the reverse the legend has a colon placed at the end of it. According to Kent, this is a characteristic of the emissions of Julius Nepos. The style of the coin is also quite similar to the Roman emissions of Zeno-Odovacar catalogued as RIC X 3651 that also have a colon-like mark : at the end of the reverse legend. 2. RIC X, 3651 BM ID: 1849, Like the emission registered in the name of Julius Nepos (3205), this type is characterized by the obverse divided legend, P-ERP and the colon placed at the end of the reverse legend. The style of this coin is however rather crude and the star in the right field of the reverse has several points and almost looks doublestruck; the lettering and image are not as competently engraved as emission RIC X There is also a clear separation in the word VICTOR-I-A, broken by the arm of the cross. 3. RIC X, 3653 BM ID: R.357 Maintaining the P-ERP subdivision in the obverse legend, this type is characterized by the mint initial R following the reverse legend. In this case there is an additional separation in the reverse legend between R and I that is caused by the arm of the cross held by the Victory. 4. RIC X, 3656 BM ID: 1983, This type is characterized by the combination of the mint mark Γ at the end of the reverse legend and COMOB in the exergue. Another feature in this coin, visible in the reverse legend, is the separation of the letters R and I in VICTORIA, caused by the insertion of the arm of the cross, which, according to Kent, appears to become more decisively visible with this particular issue (although recorded previously). 2

3 Tremissis The tremisses are characterized by a profile portrait of the draped Emperor Zeno with cuirass and paludamentum as well as the legend of Zeno with break: P-ERP, as on the solidi. The emissions of Julius Nepos often bear the obverse legend D N ZENO PERP AVC both unbroken and broken into P-ERP and the COMOB exergue mark. In contrast, the issues of Zeno-Odovacar have the title inscription that is always divided into P-ERP and the exergue mark is either COMOB or COMOB. The wreath on the reverse has two ties at the lower end, which are only found on coins from the mint of Rome. 5. RIC X, 3210 BM ID: 1863, ; R.360; B Three coins are included amongst the emissions of Julius Nepos that bear a broken legend on the obverse, P-ERP, whilst on the reverse there is a cross located within a wreath; the exergue legend is COMOB. The wreath is tied at the bottom by a rope, which looks like a wide and horizontally elongated letter X. This type differs from the contemporary Zeno emissions that show a personification of Victory advancing, holding a wreath and globus cruciger. 1 Coins 1863, and R360 share the same die on both sides; it is likely, however, that the latter coin is either more worn that the former or was struck at a later time since the letters are less sharp and some details, such as the hair, the diadem and the wreath, are not as well defined as with the previous specimen. 6. RIC X, 3662 BM ID: R.358; R.359 These two coins have an obverse legend that is broken into P-ERP, as well as the reverse COMOB. On the obverse these two specimens show a more elongated bust when compared to the emissions of Julius Nepos. In these instances, the wreath is also tied at the bottom by a feature in the form of a wide and horizontally elongated letter X. Silver Half siliqua 7. RIC X, 3664 BM ID: 1984, This is the only silver coin that Metlich accepts as minted under the authority of Odovacar. Kent records that this type had been wrongly attributed to the mint of Milan and ascribes it to Rome because of the divided P-ERP legend on the obverse. The Christogram on the reverse within a wreath is also believed to be the continuation of the Chi-Rho monogram. The exergue bears the mint mark CM, unusual for Rome, but the dots at either side could link the production to this mint, even though a similar feature appears on silver of Milan minted in the name of Anastasius (RIC X, 217). In addition, Metlich found a die link between the half siliqua and a tremissis of the Turin collection that would support a Roman production. 1 A cross topped orb (Latin: globus), a symbol of authority. 3

4 This mint mark was given a few interpretations: Caput Mundi (Grierson and Mays 1992, 186), an abbreviation for COMOB for specific use on silver coinage (RIC X, 217); or a mark of value (240 nummi c=sigma=200; M=mu=40) (RIC X, 218), but no full agreement on his meaning has been reached as of yet. Copper alloy 40 nummi The general features of the 40 nummi emissions minted in the name of Zeno show a laureate head of the emperor on the obverse with two different inscriptions, which are IM(N)P ZENO FELICISSIMO SEN AVG and IMP ZENO SEMPER AVC, with or without IIII beneath the truncation of the bust (we do not know whether this is a mint mark or not). On the reverse there is a personification of Victory advancing whilst standing on prow, holding a trophy and wreath between the two letters S C, as well as the mark of value XL placed in the exergue. The reverse bears two different inscriptions: GLORIA ROMANORO or IMVICTA ROMA. 8. RIC X, 3665 BM ID: 1969, This type is characterized, on the obverse, by the combination of the inscription IM(N)P ZENO FELICISSIMO SEN AVG, running outwards counterclockwise, and IIII below the bust. The reverse bears the legend GLORIA ROMANORO, with S C on either side of the central Victory and in the exergue XL. 9. RIC X, 3666 var. BM ID: B.11454; B.11494; 1860, ; 1860, This type shows on the obverse the legend, running outwards counterclockwise with additional title FILICISSIMO and IIII below the bust. On the reverse the inscription changes to IMVICTA ROMA with S C on either sides of Victory that no longer stands on the prow; in the exergue there is the legend XL. 10. RIC X, 3667 BM ID: B.11495; 1951, This type shows a change in the obverse inscription, which becomes IMP ZENO SEMPER AVC, and the absence of the IIII below the bust; there is also a change in style, seen especially in the now broader head. On the reverse the inscription IMVICTA ROMA with S C on either side of Victory and XL in the exergue. This type is considered rare by Grierson; however, the British Museum owns two coins of this kind, purchased in 1951 and Mint of Milan Gold Solidus According to Kent, the solidi were produced in Milan only for Zeno-Odovacar or there is no clear evidence that allows us to discern between Julius Nepos and Zeno. The obverse of the coins maintains the frontal image of Zeno, helmeted, diademed and cuirassed with spear and shield, with the inscription of his name generally not separated. On the reverse, Victory is standing to the left, holding a long cross with the inscription VICTORIA AVCCC, the mint mark M D (for Mediolanum) that identifies the mint of Milan and COMOB in the exergue. 4

5 11. RIC X, 3601 BM ID: 1860, This type is characterized by the M D mint mark as well as a star located below the letter M on the left field, a feature that differs from the emissions of Rome, which have the star on the right. In addition, the legend on the reverse is separated only in the VICTORI-A, in the same way as the early emissions of Rome. 12. RIC X, 3602 BM ID: 1860, This type also bears the mint mark M D of the mint of Milan, as well as a star located under M in the left field, a letter A that was inserted between the long arm of the cross and the lower part of Victory s dress and a D in the right field. Tremissis The tremisses bear on the obverse the profile bust of Zeno, diademed, draped and cuirassed. The titles used for the obverse of the coins vary and Kent notes that they are also very irregular, almost like imitative issues. The reverse shows a cross within a wreath that is made up of two branches with ten pairs of distinct leaves, without a legend and only with the exergue mint mark, COMOB. The lower part of the wreath is always flat, almost like an exergual line. 13. RIC X, 3608 BM ID: R.361 This type shows on the obverse a broken legend, P-ERP. On the reverse, the wreath is well styled and is completed by a globe at the top; the lower part of the wreath is tied in the form of three letters in the shape of an X. 14. RIC X, 3610 BM ID: 1860, ; 1867, This type is characterized by the unbroken PERP in the legend, even though the P in coin 1860, is more separate than that on 1867, On the reverse the two branches are joined at the top by a globe; the wreath of 1860, is tied at the bottom in the form of three letters in the shape of an X, while that of 1867, has only two. 15. RIC X, 3613 BM ID: R.362; R.363 These two coins share the same peculiar obverse legend with PEPR AVG, with a final ligatured AV in coin R363. On the reverse, the branches of the wreath are joined at the top by a globe and the bottom part is tied by one letter X in the case of R362, and two in coin R RIC X, 3614 BM ID: 1867, ; 1914,0705.1; B.12651; 1860, ; G3.RIG.508 These five coins bear the same unbroken legend PERP as well as a ligatured AV. On the reverse, the two parts of the wreath are joined at the top by a globe and they are roughly styled, especially in the case of 1867, The mint mark in the exergue reads COMOB and the lower part of the wreath is tied by two letters in the shape of X. 5

6 17. RIC X, 3614 var. BM ID: 1864, ; 1864, ; 1864, In this case, the legend on the obverse maintains an unbroken PERP as well as a ligatured AV and, on the reverse, the mint mark is CONOB. The wreaths are joined at the top by a globe and they are not well styled. The lower bar of the wreath in 1864, and 1864, is tied by three letters X placed one next to the other. In the case of coin 1864, , the wreath only has two letters X, but the specimen is also of poor style, with crude lines and inferior portrait. Half siliqua The mint of Milan also produced silver coinage, denominations of half siliquae that Kent attributed to both Julius Nepos and Zeno. These emissions are characterized by the diademed, draped and cuirassed profile bust of Zeno with the title PERP that is also broken into P-ERP. On the reverse of the coins there are three different types: Victory advancing to the left with a wreath and palm; a turreted figure standing to the left, holding a spear and cornucopia (the only one with the mint mark MD in the field); and an eagle with spread wings, standing to the right with a cross above. 18. RIC X, 3615 BM ID: 1986, This coin shows an undivided legend on the obverse with a ligatured AV and Victory advancing to the left holding a wreath. The style of the issue is crude, particularly on the obverse. 19. RIC X, 3617 BM ID: 1844, This specimen has on the obverse an undivided legend with a reversed letter Z; the reverse bears the mint mark of Milan, indicated by the letters M D placed at either side of the turreted figure. 20. RIC X, 3618 BM ID: B.2930; B.2931 Two coins belong to this variant that has an undivided legend on the obverse with a ligatured AV and the reverse shows the mint mark of Milan, with the letters M D placed at either side of the turreted figure. In coin B.2930, the reverse image is styled quite differently from the other specimen and is rather crude. 21. RIC X, 3621 BM ID: B.2932; B.2933 The two coins have a broken P-ERP legend on the obverse, with a P above the head of the king. On the reverse, the bird has its wings raised and stands on a prow or branch that is fairly stylized; the cross over the eagle looks like a Latin cross, with a longer lower arm. 22. RIC X, 3623 BM ID: 1906,1103.2; 1846, The two coins show different legends on the obverse, since 1906, is divided as P-ERP whilst the legend on 1846, is undivided; both show the ligatured AV. One peculiar characteristic is the equal armed cross with the prow or branch beneath the feet that is well defined in 1906,1103.2, whilst quite stylized in 1846, The image of the eagle on this latter specimen is a much rougher example, particularly in the depiction of the beak. 6

7 Mint of Ravenna Gold Solidi The solidi minted in Ravenna bear on the obverse the three-quarter facing portrait of Zeno who is helmeted, diademed and cuirassed with spear and shield alongside the inscription of his name. On the reverse Victory is standing to the left, holding a long cross, and the inscription reads VICTORIA AVCCC. According to Kent, the earlier emissions of the mint (that would provide a date of 477 9) have a colon after the inscription, maintaining on the obverse the undivided legend PERP. In the later productions, the obverse inscription changes into PER F and then PERP F, a feature that allows us to distinguish between Ravenna and Rome. Later issues (according to RIC X) also have a letter added at the end of the reverse legend. In one type the R V mint initials are placed within the field, in others they are at the end of COMOB in the exergue. 23. RIC X, 3625 BM ID: 1904, This coin is included in the type that was part of the early emissions of Zeno and perhaps Odovacar, which bears on the obverse the undivided title PERP. On the reverse : is placed at the end of the legend and COMOB in exergue. 24. RIC X, 3626 BM ID: B Maintaining the undivided title PERP on the obverse, the type has a colon at the end of the reverse legend and the mint mark RV in the field, with the two letters placed on either side of Victory; the letter V seems to take the place of the star that is normally placed on the right side of the figure. The exergue displays COMOB. 25. RIC X, 3629 BM ID: 1904, This coin is characterized by the obverse title PER F, the addition of the letter X (or +) at the end of the reverse legend and COMOB in exergue. 26. RIC X, 3631 BM ID: 1860, This type bears the features that correspond to the later emissions, with the obverse legend PERP F as well as the final letter И with a line above and CONOB in the exergue. 27. RIC X, 3632 BM ID: B The obverse legend in this type has PERP F; the reverse inscription ends with the letter N and the mint mark in the exergue is CONOB. 28. RIC X, 3634 BM ID: R1874, ; 1860, In this type, the obverse inscription reads PERP F and the exergue mark has the monogram of the mint of Ravenna (RV) added at the end, reading CONOB RV. In both specimens the use of an unbarred letter A in VICTORIΛ is recorded and both coins share the same reverse die. 7

8 Tremissis The tremisses minted in Ravenna have on the obverse the profile bust of Zeno, diademed, draped and with the paludamentum alongside the legend PERP F. On the reverse, there is a cross within a wreath with COMOB in the exergue. According to Kent, earlier emissions show a well-designed wreath, whilst the later ones do not display the same quality and bear the mint mark CONOB. The branches of the wreath end in a circular feature that looks like a jewel, different from those used in Milan emissions but similar to those from Rome. 29. RIC X, 3638 BM ID: 1864, This type has on the obverse the legend with PERP F and on the reverse the mint mark COMOB. As with the emissions of Rome, the lower part of the wreath is tied by a rope in the shape of an elongated letter X. 30. RIC X, 3639 BM ID: B On this coin, the obverse legend has a reversed Z in ZENO and the mint mark COMOB on the reverse. As with the emissions of Rome, the lower part of the wreath is tied by a rope in the shape of an elongated letter X. 31. RIC X, 3640 BM ID: 1869, This type is among those that Kent suggested to be of a later date and lower in quality. The obverse legend remains as PERP F and the mint mark is badly written with the final B looking like a D. As with the previous types, the lower part of the wreath seems to be tied by a rope in the shape of an elongated letter X, but in this case it is shorter than that of the previous two types. 32. RIC X, 3641 BM ID: 1863, ; B Specimen B bears the letter epsilon in the obverse legend, which becomes PЄRP F. In this type the legend on the obverse should end only in AV instead of AVC. The lower part of the wreath is tied by a rope that is shaped as an elongated letter X; in 1863, the rope shows a central boss or globe. 33. RIC X, 3642 BM ID: B In this case, the legend on the obverse uses the letter epsilon in the word ZЄNO and the mint mark on the reverse is rendered as COM. The two branches of the wreath are tied at the bottom in the form of three letters X. Silver Half siliqua The mint of Ravenna produced an issue bearing the name of Odovacar on the obverse, with his monogram on the reverse. The silver issues of Ravenna in the name of Zeno attributed to Odovacar show on the obverse the profile bust of Zeno draped and cuirassed, with the legend PERP F and only rarely PERF. On the reverse, the three types minted in Milan were also produced in Ravenna: a turreted figure with sceptre and cornucopia, but with the mint mark RV; an eagle with spread wings; and a rather crude depiction of Victory advancing with a wreath and palm branch. 8

9 34. RIC X, 3502 BM ID: 1882, This half siliqua portrays on the obverse a bare headed bust without any regalia, but with the barbarian fashion of longer hair and prominent moustache; the portrait as well as the legend FL ODOVAC, identify the bust as the king himself. On the reverse, the monogram of the king is within a wreath and the mint mark RV is positioned underneath. 35. RIC X, 3644 BM ID: B.2946 The obverse of this type shows the title PERF and the legend that ends in AV, with the use of the unbarred letter Λ. 36. RIC X, 3648 BM ID: B On this coin, the obverse legend has the reversed Z in ZENO and uses Λ instead of A. On the reverse, the eagle is standing to the left on a prow or branch, but unlike the type minted in Milan, the wings of the bird are spread in a different way and no cross is recorded above the eagle. 37. RIC X, 3649 cf BM ID: 1970, This coin has a very irregular obverse legend with the use of И instead of N as well as Є; the letter Z is also reversed. On the reverse, there is a rather crude facing depiction of Victory walking to the left. Copper alloy 1 nummus It is likely that the mint of Ravenna also produced copper alloy coins in the last years of Odovacar s reign while he was besieged in the city. These are 1 nummus denominations that bear on the obverse the profile bust to the right of Odovacar with the legend ODOVAC and on the reverse the monogram of the king formed by the letters A D. 38. RIC X, 3502 BM ID: B.11496; B The two specimens that belong to the British Museum s collection show on the obverse the inscription that reads ODOVAC and on the reverse the letter A in the monogram shows a horizontal bar. This is in contrast to similar examples in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge which show a transversal bar. 2 This difference led Grierson to suggest that the British Museum coins were Cigoi s fakes, 3 a hypothesis that was contested by Kent who claimed that the falseness of the 2 The same type of bar can be found in one specimen from the excavations at San Severo, Classe (Ravenna, Italy), whilst another specimen from the nearby harbour area is even simpler as the letter A does not appear to have the bar, but part of the obverse legend (ODO) is visible. 3 Luigi Cigoi (Udine, ) was a collector and forger. He was in fact a tanner and had found out that the process in the treatment and dying of leather could be used for aging forged coins. This practice remained undetected until 1869 when Cigoi himself tried to sell a whole group of coins to Adolf Hess, an antiquarian who had the whole group valued by numismatists who immediately uncovered the forgery (Grierson-Mays 2002, 297 8). 9

10 specimen is not self-evident. 4 This argument dates to the last century and since then more coins have appeared mainly through online markets and in the archaeological record. 5 Even though the type with a transversal line is the most common, 6 the evidence shows a more widespread typology than previously known, therefore supporting Kent s claim. 4 RIC X, Ranieri 2006; Asolati 2012; Baldi MEC 1,

11 Theoderic the Great Theoderic in the name of Zeno (490 1) Mint of Rome (490 1) Gold Solidus, tremissis 39. Metlich 1 and 2 Theoderic s emissions are known to have been produced in the name of three emperors: Zeno, Anastasius I and Justin I. Only semisses and tremisses are known for Zeno (Metlich 1 and 2), both with the effigy and name of Zeno on the obverse; on the reverse the semissis bears a Christogram within a wreath and the tremissis shows a floating Victory with a wreath and globus cruciger. Metlich has only recently recognized the existence of the semissis type through stylistic similarities to a known Zeno tremissis. This could imply that a related production of solidi has yet to be identified. Not present in the British Museum s collection. Silver Quarter siliqua 40. Metlich 41 (Arslan ) On this type the reverse shows a standing Victory holding globus cruciger and wreath. Not present in the British Museum s collection. Theoderic in his own name Mint of Rome Gold 41. Metlich 3 Three solidi BM ID: B This emission, equal to the weight of three solidi, is the so-called Senigallia Medallion that bears on the obverse the frontal bust of Theoderic and the legend REX THEODERICVS PIVS PRINCIS. On the reverse is the depiction of Victory, holding a wreath and palm, with the inscription REX THEODERICVS VICTOR GENTIVM. This is the only coin minted in the name of the king and it is likely that it was an emission minted to celebrate the official recognition of the Ostrogothic rule over Italy by Anastasius in 497 (only an electrotype of the original in the Museo Nazionale, Rome, is present in the British Museum s collection). 11

12 Theoderic in the name of Anastasius ( ) Mint of Rome ( ) Gold Solidus Six different types of solidi are known, all sharing similar obverse characteristics: the bust of the emperor is three-quarters facing, with a cuirass and helmet on which a trefoil is depicted. The spear has a barbed top and the legend reads DN ANASTASIVS PF AVC (instead of PP that was used for emissions from Milan). The diadem ties are curved and the flap is decorated with a dot and wave pattern. On the reverse is Victory with a long cross, standing to the left (in imitation of the contemporary Byzantine emissions of Anastasius I) and the inscription VICTORIA AVCCC with COMOB on the reverse exergue. Some slight differences in this pattern characterize the various issues as set out below. 42. Metlich 4 (Arslan AV7) BM ID: 1852, This issue is characterized on the reverse by a standing Victory with a star on the right and a Christogram (Chi-Rho monogram = ) at the end of the reverse legend. Metlich assigned this emission to the earliest productions of Theoderic, a theory that is also supported by Arslan who suggests that it was minted before Metlich 5 (Arslan AV12) In this issue the monogram of Theoderic is found at the end of the reverse legend, however the mint monogram is absent. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 44. Metlich 6 (Arslan AV8) BM ID: 1846, This type shows the Greek letter Θ at the end of the legend and the monogram of Rome (the letters R and M ligatured) on the left side of the field, whilst a star is placed on the right. Both Metlich and Arslan suggest that the letter Θ represents the Greek initial of Theoderic s name. On the obverse, some depictions of Anastasius hand show a small loop above the index finger, a feature that is considered to be earlier than Metlich 7 and 8 in which this element is consistently visible. These features, together with the addition of the letter Θ, would demonstrate that the issue is transitional from one with a Greek initial to those with the Latin monogram. 45. Metlich 7a (Arslan AV9) BM ID: 1867, ; B.11436; 1904, The main characteristic of this emission is the Latin monogram of Theoderic of a slightly simplified type, placed at the end of the reverse legend; the monogram of Rome is placed on the left side of the field (the letters R and M are ligatured) and a star on the right side of the field. The three coins in the British Museum s collection show signs of wear, with the emperor s face disfigured. It is also possible to see some similarities in the details 12

13 of the obverses of B and 1867, , such as the shape of the diadem ties and the form of the lettering suggesting the use of the same obverse die. It is likely that 1867, was minted later since the lettering shows more sign of wear. 46. Metlich 7b (Arslan AV9) This type bears a different monogram of Theoderic from the previous type at the end of the legend. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 47. Metlich 8 (Arslan AV10) BM ID: 1864, ; 1867, ; B On this type, the reverse does not bear the monogram of Rome, but has only the star on the right as well as the letter A at the end of the legend in place of the king s monogram to indicate the officina. This emission is considered to be the type minted after Theoderic s recognition by Anastasius in 497, a time at which any reference to the king himself (his Latin monogram or Greek initial) was no longer necessary. Semissis There is only one recognized semissis emission of the Ostrogothic coinage. On the obverse the profile bust of Anastasius I and the legend D N ANASTASIVS P F AVC; on the reverse a depiction of Victory, surrounded by the inscription VICTORIA AVCVSTORVN, is sitting and writing VOT PC on a shield. 48. Metlich 9 (Arslan AV4) This type has on the reverse a seated Victory with VOT/PC/* on a shield, held by a putto and a star above the head. The mintmark reads COMOB. Not present in the British Museum s collection. Tremissis The known tremissis issues bear on the obverse the profile effigy of the emperor with cuirass and paludamentum with the legend D N ANASTASIVS P F AVC. The reverse shows a standing figure of Victory walking to the right with a palm branch over her shoulder and a wreath in her right hand, alongside the legend VICTORIA AVCVSTORVM, a star on the right and the exergue mark COMOB. This depiction of Victory walking later changes to one standing in a frontal pose and floating on a globe, 7 holding in her hands a wreath and a globus cruciger. This would remain almost unvaried from Theoderic's emissions to those of the other Ostrogothic kings. Although it had also been the standard reverse in Constantinople for a long time, according to Arslan the image of Victory alluded to Theoderic s conquest of Italy and his attempts to dominate the other Germanic populations, such as the Visigoths and Franks.8 7 Metlich 2004, 11ff. 8 Arslan 2004,

14 49. Metlich 10a (Arslan ) BM ID: 1867, Metlich places this emission among the early types of Theoderic s reign because Victory is walking to the right and not floating on a globe; another early feature present on the obverse is the faint lines used to represent the bust drapery, unlike later ones that are more carefully drawn and modelled. On the obverse of this illustrated specimen the letters A are not clearly defined but lack their crossbars to appear more like a Greek letter Λ. 50. Metlich 10b (Arslan ) The reverse feature that characterizes this issue, in addition to Victory who is walking to the right, is the star placed at the end of the legend. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 51. Metlich 11 (Arslan AV5) In this type the figure of Victory floats to the right on a globe and no mint marks are present at the end of the reverse legend. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 52. Metlich 12 (Arslan AV6) BM ID: B This type is characterized by an obverse portrait that shows a more detailed treatment of the bust drapery that had developed with curved rather than v-shaped lines on the issues of the mint of Rome. 9 The legend on this specimen is not very clear with several small droplets of metal around each letter, perhaps indicative of a much worn die or poor maintenance such as the failure to clean off the residue of metal that can clog a die during use. On the reverse, Victory floats to the left above a globe. The star on the right was erased at one point, which is still visible from scratching on the surface. The style of the engraving is very similar to that of the Roman emissions, although the exergue mint mark reads CONOB, a characteristic of the mint in Milan (although not unknown in Rome since it is recorded for Metlich 11 as well as some 13a types). 53. Metlich 13a (Arslan ) On this issue Victory is floating on a globe, in a frontal pose and holding a wreath and globe cruciger with a star on the left and right with an additional letter T at the end of the legend (VICTORIA AVCVSTORVMT), which is considered an indication of the initial of Theoderic s name. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 54. Metlich 13b (Arslan AV19) BM ID: 1867, ; B.12290; B.12291; B In this emission a star is placed on either side of the standing Victory who is walking to the right but looking left over her shoulder. Developing from the previous type, the legend loses the final letter T at the end. The four coins in the British Museum s collection are quite uniform, although the reverse legend of B misses the final V of the word AVGVSTORVM and bears the exergue COИOB. Even though this exergue is considered a feature of the mint of Milan, the coin was added to the group of coins from Rome on the 9 Metlich

15 grounds of the latter part of the obverse legend, which reads PF (rather than PP), as well as a closer stylistic affinity to the emissions of Rome over those of Milan. 55. Metlich 14 (Arslan AV18) BM ID: G3,RIG.519.a; 1937, The two coins in this group display on the reverse a Victory with a style of drapery that, according to Metlich, shows a similar treatment to that on the Senigallia Medallion (Metlich 3). In the field, the star is on the right and the exergue COMOB suggests that Rome is the most probable mint. Likewise, the style of the bust of the emperor is stylistically similar to other Roman issues. 56. Metlich 14 var. or 24? BM ID: B This coin appears to belong to a different group although the reverse is stylistically similar to Metlich 14. On the obverse, the drapery is made of stiffer lines, while the treatment of the hair is also different from other specimens of type Metlich 14. The lettering on the legend has the third letter S reversed (Ƨ) and the inscription reads PP instead of PF, a feature of the emissions of Milan. On the reverse there is one star in the right field, a rather more puffed-up dress on the depiction of Victory and the mint mark COMOB. Therefore, it seems that the obverse of this coin could be from a Milanese die (as in Metlich 24), although it does not have the cross above the head. However, the reverse seems to have characteristics such as the puffy dress that are typical of a Roman die. Consequently, the issue is placed with the emissions of Rome. Silver Half siliqua The emission of half siliqua is characterized, on the obverse, by the profile effigy of the emperor with cuirass, paludamenetum and diadem, alongside the legend D N ANASTASIVS P P AVC (which is a feature of the emissions from Milan). On the reverse, the Christogram is situated within a wreath, such as the tremisses minted in the name of Zeno, with the mint mark COM or CONS. Metlich places this issue with the mint of Rome because of the similarities in the bust. He also notices that this emission was minted with an eastern (heavier) weight standard; this characteristic, as well as the presence of the P P legend, according to Metlich seems to indicate the intention to mint for an intended specific audience. 57. Metlich 42a (Arslan 3 4) This issue is characterized by the mint mark COM in the exergue. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 58. Metlich 42b (Arslan 3 4) BM ID: B The reverse of this coin bears a Christogram within a wreath and the exergue mark CONS, which is typical of the eastern mints under Anastasius direct control, as well as using a heavier eastern weight standard. Metlich places this emission with 15

16 the mint of Rome because of its style; however Arslan considers this to be a Milanese emission. 10 Both place the half siliqua emissions to the early period of Theoderic's reign since the reverse type is quite similar to the productions of Anastasius I. Copper alloy As discussed in the general introduction, it is likely that Theoderic also issued some anonymous types that mention neither king nor emperor. Metlich classified these emissions in his catalogue with numbers from 76 to 78. However, because of the great deal of disagreement and uncertainty surrounding this matter, these bronzes will be discussed separately and this chapter will include only the issues that can be assigned to Theoderic with certainty. Minimi The copper alloy denominations produced by Theoderic are emissions of minimi to the value of 2 nummi, which bear on the obverse the bust of Emperor Anastasius with irregular legends and a monogram on the reverse. Arslan also records a smaller emission, one nummus, but this is not taken into account by Metlich and also not present in the British Museum s collection. 59. Metlich 79 (Arslan AE22) BM ID: 1945,0403.5; B This emission, considered a denomination of 3 nummi by Arslan, 11 shows on the reverse Theoderic s boxed monogram. Of the two specimens 1945, is extremely worn, making the reverse almost illegible. 60. Metlich 80a (Arslan AE19) This type is characterized by a monogram with the letters T and R and a star to the left. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 61. Metlich 80b (Arslan AE19) BM ID: 1934, In this issue, the monogram is created by the letters T and R, which Hahn interpreted as Theodericus Rex; 12 however, the meaning is not certain and whilst Metlich suggests that this is a denomination of 2 nummi, Arslan even doubts that this is an emission of Theoderic. The style of the coin, mainly of the obverse, is very crude and almost like a copy. Lacking the evidence of the star on the left side of the field, this specimen was assigned to group 80b; however, it is likely that the coin was neither cleaned nor conserved and it seems possible that there is a star between the two legs of the letter R, which would place the coin with the previous type. 10 Arslan 2011, Ibid., 373 and bibliography. 12 MIB II, n. N73. 16

17 Mint of Ravenna (497 c. 498) Gold Solidus The solidi produced by the mint of Ravenna maintains on the obverse the threequarter bust, cuirass and paludamentum, a trefoil on the helmet and the lancetshaped spearhead, alongside the legend D N ANASTASIVS P P AVC, which would develop into P F. The reverse bears the image of the standing Victory with a long cross, a star on the right and the legend VICTORIA AVCCC followed by different mint marks and COMOB in the exergue. 62. Metlich 15 (Arslan AV16) On the reverse of this coin the monogram of Theoderic is positioned at the end of the legend with a star on the right. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 63. Metlich 16 (Arslan AV 11) BM ID: 1863, ; 1904, This type shows on the reverse a monogram of Theoderic that is slightly different from the one of Metlich 15, as well as a star on the right and the monogram of Ravenna on the left (ligatured letters R and V). The monogram is not present on 1904, However, there is some obvious scratching that is most probably a sign of an attempted removal of the monogram, an action executed prior to its acquisition by the British Museum (previously noted by Wroth). Also worthy of note in 1863, is the exergue mark COMOB in which the letter M looks more like an N. A very similar if not of the same style N is found on the obverse legend suggesting that the same engraver worked on both dies. Tremissis The emission of tremisses shows on the obverse the profile effigy of Anastasius I and the legend D N ANASTASIVS P F AVC. On the reverse Victory is depicted floating on a globe, holding a wreath and a globus cruciger, alongside a star on the right, the legend VICTORIA AVCVSTORVM and COMOB/ CONOB on the exergue. 64. Metlich 17 (Arslan ) BM ID: B Originally Wroth placed this coin with the emissions of Baduila, but Metlich argues that it belongs to those of Theoderic for stylistic reasons. The similarities of the obverse with the specimens shown in Metlich s work are quite clear, but in this case the reverse appears different since the exergue legend reads CONOD(B?) and the star on the right of the reverse field is not eight pointed as is the case on all coins minted under the authority of Theoderic. Furthermore, it strongly resembles those shown on Baduila s coins. It is therefore suggested that this could be an overstruck coin of Theoderic with a Baduila reverse. Silver ( ) Half siliqua The mint of Rome continued to be the main production site of gold coinage whilst Ravenna, and initially Milan, were the mints that produced silver coinage; it is in 17

18 the productions from Ravenna that it is possible to find characteristics that can be considered typical of Ostrogothic emissions. The striking feature of this coinage is the image on the obverse that is no longer of the emperor, but that of the king himself with Ostrogothic appearance moustache, long hair, robe and diadem although the legend maintains the name of Anastasius. In this case, the legend on the obverse reads D N ANASTASIVS AVC and on the reverse is a six-pointed star within a wreath that is possibly a continuation of the Christogram minted in Milan and produced between 491 and Metlich 43a (Arslan AR5) BM ID: 1906, On the obverse this type bears the letter R below the bust, which is interpreted as an indication of the mint of Ravenna. 14 The average weight of this emission is 1.65g, which corresponds to the emissions of heavier standards from the earlier stages of production. This coin can be included in the early weight emissions since the specimen is only about 10% lighter than the average 1.52g. 66. Metlich 43b (Arslan AR5) BM ID: 1867, ; B This variant is similar to the previous, but on the obverse the letter R is omitted, leaving only two dots below the bust. Metlich also notes that the weight of the emission lowers, settling around 1.45g, which is actually the same as that of specimen B.12296, whilst the recorded weight of 1867, is only slightly lower with 1.42g. Quarter siliqua The quarter siliqua emissions shows on the obverse the profile bust of Anastasius I, but with Ostrogothic appearance and the legend D N ANASTASIVS P (P) AVC. The reverse shows the monogram of Theoderic with a cross above and a star below, surrounded by the inscription INVICTA ROMA. 67. Metlich 44a (Arslan ) Not present in the British Museum s collection. 68. Metlich 44b (Arslan ) BM ID: 1951, The obverse of this emission shows the use of a dotted bust, which seems to be quite characteristic of the emissions of Ravenna. The top of the letter R belonging to the symbol R is visible below the bust, even though the rest was largely removed by the clipping of the coin. The legend on this side starts from the left shoulder of the bust and it is counterclockwise and retrograde (not mentioned by Metlich). On the reverse the monogram of Theoderic with a cross above and a star below is placed within the inscription IИVICTA ROMA. 13 Arslan 2011, Arslan (2011) suggests that it could be an emission of Rome/Milan. 18

19 69. Metlich 45a (Arslan 9) On the obverse of this type the symbol R or R is placed below the bust. On the reverse there is the monogram of Theoderic with a cross above, all situated within a wreath. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 70. Metlich 45b (Arslan 9) BM ID: B On the obverse of this type the most visible feature is the two dots below the bust of the emperor, a typology that follows the use of the R mark. The reverse bears the monogram of Theoderic within a wreath, marking a change from the previous type, with the inscription. 71. Metlich 45c (Arslan 9) BM ID: 1951, ; 1906, ; 1844, These three specimens were included with this type (Metlich 45c) because of the lack of mint marks under the bust on the obverse. However it remains unclear if the three specimens lost the lettering because of clipping or if the mint mark was intentionally absent. Mint of Milan (491 c. 501) Gold Solidus With all the solidi the effigy on the obverse is three-quarter facing, with a plain spearhead and the legend D N ANASTASIVS, which ends in PP AVC instead of PF; the hand of the emperor holding the spear is also decorated by a ribbon. On the reverse Victory is standing with a long cross, with an eight-pointed star on the right and the inscription VICTORIA AVCCC followed by a mint mark that characterizes the different issues. 72. Metlich 18 (Arslan ) In this type the legend on the obverse bears the reversed letter Ƨ, as well as ending with PRP AVC, while the legend of the reverse is followed by a Christogram. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 73. Metlich 19a (Arslan AV14) BM ID: 1860, ; 1908, This type is characterized by the monogram of Milan, a ligatured IMD positioned inwards, placed at the end of the reverse legend with a star placed on the reverse field on the right. Of the two specimens in this group, the obverse legend in 1908, shows an inconsistent representation of the letter A: the first one in ANASTASIVS appears as Λ, the second A has a crossbar, whereas Λ is used again for the AVC part. The reverses of both these two specimens are minted from the same die; 1860, seems to have been struck later when the die had become worn. 73a. Metlich BM ID: B This specimen is similar to the issues of Milan, but lacks the monogram of the city mint. The legend on either side uses the letter Λ instead of A. On the reverse, there is a visible dot between Victory s dress and the cross. The Greek letter ϴ that indicates Theoderic is located at the end of the legend, a feature characteristic of the mint of Rome (Metlich 6). 19

20 74. Metlich 19b (Arslan ) In this type the legend is followed by IMD inwards; the monogram of Milan is visible on the left field and a star is on the right. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 75. Metlich 20a (Arslan AV14) This type is characterized by the letter I after the reverse legend, followed by the monogram of Theoderic; in the left field there is the mint mark of Milan, a ligatured MD, and a star on the right. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 76. Metlich 20b (Arslan AV14) BM ID: 1922, This type is recognizable by the addition of the letter I after the legend, also followed by a monogram of Theoderic that is slightly different from that visible on the previous type. In the left field there is the mint mark of Milan, a ligatured MD, and a star on the right. As regards to the meaning of the letter I next to the monogram, both Metlich and Arslan suggest that it could be indicative of the date of this emission, the first year of Theoderic s reign 492/493. Also on the obverse there is a small variant to the effigy seen in the previous type the absence of the ribbon on the hand that holds the spear. The legends also sometimes display the letter Λ instead of A, as seen already in the coins of type Metlich 20a. 77. Metlich 21 (Arslan ) This type is characterized, on the reverse, by the legend followed by I and the monogram of Theoderic, the ligatured mint mark MD in the left field and the star on the right. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 78. Metlich 22 (Arslan AV15) This type is characterized by the legend followed by the symbol :, as well as a ligatured mint mark MD on the left field and a star on the right. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 79. Metlich 23 (Arslan AV17) This type is characterized by the legend followed by the year of production. The ligatured mint mark, MD, is placed on the left field and a star is on the right. Not present in the British Museum s collection. Tremissis The mint of Milan also produced several types of tremisses, all sharing the same obverse a profile bust with cuirass and paludamentum and a cross on the head of the emperor, which later became incorporated on the diadem. The cross then changes into a star and sometimes dots appear around one shoulder. The legend on the obverse is often irregular, generally D N ANASTASIVS P AVC. The reverse bears a depiction of Victory floating on a globe with the legend VICTORIA AVCVSTORVN, often irregular, in a style that is very similar to the productions of Anastasius. 20

21 80. Metlich 24 (Arslan AV22) BM ID: B This Milanese emission is characterized by a small cross placed above the head of the emperor on the obverse effigy; according to Metlich this production is slightly earlier than the other tremissis of the same mint in which the cross then becomes a star. 81. Metlich 25 (Arslan AV22) In this emission the legend on the reverse is followed by the indication of the year. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 82. Metlich 26 (Arslan AV21) The type is characterized by a simple legend and there is no star in the field. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 83. Metlich 27 (Arslan AV23) BM ID: 1904, ; B.12299; B.12300; B This type shows the profile bust of the emperor to the right with a star placed on top of the diadem. Metlich mentions some occasional symbols on the shoulders of this type, but this is not the case for the specimens in the British Museum s collection. On the reverse, the star is placed to the right and the legend becomes more erratic, e.g. AVCVSTORON or AVGVSTOROM. Three of the coins show CONOB in the exergue, apart from B that instead displays COИOB. 84. Metlich 28 (Arslan AV20) In this issue the reverse bears a star to the left of the standing figure of Victory. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 85. Metlich 29 (Arslan AV 24) This type is characterized on the reverse by two stars, one on the left and the other to the right of the standing depiction of Victory. Not present in the British Museum s collection. Silver Half siliqua The silver emissions of Milan show on the obverse the profile bust of Anastasius with cuirass, paludamentum and diadem alongside the legend D N ANASTASIVS P AVC. The obverse bears an image of Victory walking to the right, holding a long cross or rudder as well as a wreath, placed between the letters SC and surrounded by the inscription INVICTA ROMA. 86. Metlich 46a (Arslan ) This type is characterized by a depiction of Victory walking to the right and holding a long cross and wreath, placed between S C, and alongside the legend IMVICTA ROMA. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 87. Metlich 46a var. (Arslan ) BM ID: 1969, An acquisition of 1969, this coin shows on the reverse a walking Victory positioned between S C and the legend IMVICTA ROMA. However, it also shows features that do not allow us to place it with group Metlich 46a, since the S in the field is 21

22 reversed and the figure of Victory holds a long rudder and not a cross; there is also evidence of a possible mint mark in exergue three dots,, placed between two lines. This interesting specimen is possibly transitional between Metlich 46a and 46b. 88. Metlich 46b (Arslan ) BM ID: 1904, In this type Victory holds a rudder or trophy instead of a cross and there are no visible mint marks. 89. Metlich 46c (Arslan AR1) This type shows Victory walking to the right holding a trophy and wreath, with a star above her head and S C at the sides, all within the legend IMVICTA ROMA. Not present in the British Museum s collection. Quarter siliqua The quarter siliqua emissions bear on the obverse the profile bust of Anastasius I with retrograde legends that read D N ANASTASIVS P P AVC as well as mint marks below the bust that are indicative of the Milanese mint. On the reverse of the coin there is the monogram of Theoderic within the legend INVICTA ROMA (adding C M with later emissions). 90. Metlich 47 (Arslan AR7) BM ID: 1847, ; 1856,0705.1; 1847, ; B Of these four specimens that should all be part of Metlich 47, only one (B.12302) shows evidence of the mint mark below the bust on the obverse omo. The coins are stylistically very erratic and show completely different styles in the engraving on both sides. 91. Metlich 48 (Arslan ) BM ID: B.12303; 1844, This type is characterized by the mint mark omo, M, m, M below the bust on the obverse; on the same side the legend is also retrograde. The reverse of the coins shows an irregular legend, INVITA ROMA, with the letters C and M added at the end. The two coins appear to share the same dies, on both sides. 91n. Another coin, B (BMC 82) was listed by Metlich as being part of this group, but in spite of the mint mark om(?)o under the bust, the legends on both sides are completely illegible and it is possible that this could be a barbarous emission, possibly by the Gepids, as it is quite similar in style to a specimen in Metlich (2004, fig. 22). 92. Metlich 49 (Arslan ) The obverse of the coin bears the mint mark IMD and on the reverse the monogram of Theoderic, within INVICTA ROMA C M legend. Not present in the British Museum s collection. 22

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