1. Roman Coins of Luceria and Canusium
2. Anonymous Struck Bronze Coins of the Roman Republic
3. Anonymous Roman Republican Denarii and Victoriati (Steve Brinkman's site)
Principal Coins of the Roman Republic
Supplement: Anonymous Struck Bronze Coins of the Roman Republic
This web-page summarises an arrangement of anonymous struck bronzes that is fully explained in
"The Anonymous Struck Bronze Coinage of the Roman Republic: a Provisional Arrangement",
Andrew McCabe, 2013.
Further details about the publication context will be summarised here, once the paper is available in its published
This paper investigates the various issues of Roman Republican anonymous struck bronzes, with prow designs,
dating from 215 BC onwards. I suggest a provisional arrangement of the anonymous coinage into fifteen main groups
and many sub-groups, considering design, style, manufacture and find information, but not considering weight as a
primary sorting tool. The arrangement is summarised on this web-page, but the evidence for the arrangement is
not presented here: for this the main paper will need to be consulted.
In the conclusions within the paper (not included on this web-page) I discuss weight
behaviour, standards and relative issue size for the
different groups of anonymous bronzes. The coin evidence leads me to question whether a sextantal standard for
Roman struck bronzes ever existed. I discuss in the paper which bronze issues may be associated with different issues of struck
silver coinage. I also consider dating, and mint locations, and I suggest various lines for further study.
Below each picture I cite the provenance of each illustrated coin, together with other accessible specimens in
museums or in auction catalogues. Cited collections are abbreviated as follows.
AM - private collection, cited coins can be found at http://andrewmccabe.ancients.info, accessed December 2011;
ANS - American Numismatic Society, followed by accession number;
Berlin - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, followed by catalogue number;
Fitzwilliam - Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge;
Goodman followed by CNG43/CNG45/CNG47/Triton1 - Goodman collection as documented in CNG43/45/47/Triton 1 catalogues, any illustrations with permission cngcoins.com; other coins from this collection that were not included in the listed catalogues are cited 'Goodman';
Hannover - Museum August Kestner, in Hannover followed by its number in Die Münzen der Römischen Republik im Kestner-Museum Hannover, F. Berger 1989;
BM - British Museum, London followed by the online catalogue number from A catalogue of the Roman Republican Coins in the British Museum, E Ghey, I Leins (eds) - descriptions and chronology after MH Crawford;
Morgantina - Morgantina Studies II, the Coins, T.V. Buttrey 1989, followed by plate or catalogue number;
Paris - Bibliothèque nationale de France Paris followed by d'Ailly numbers, or by AF for coins from the Anciens Fonds collection; photographs are by the author with permission of Dominique Hollard and Michel Amandry, BNF Paris;
RR - private collection, with permission;
RBW - private collection, most to be found in Numismatica Ars Classica (NAC) sale 61 catalogue, September 2011, cited as RBW-NAC61, or NAC sale 63 catalogue, cited as RBW-NAC63. Other illustrated examples from the RBW collection, not in either NAC61 or NAC63, were photographed by the author;
Yale - Yale University Art Gallery Numismatic Collection, followed by the 2001 transfer number.
Standard Design of Prow Bronzes
To avoid the need to repeat standard descriptions against each coin group, I illustrate a sample coin with key design features that can be found on most Roman Republican bronzes, and which I describe below in some detail. In the main coin arrangement, the elements of prow design will only be cited to the extent necessary to distinguish between the various coin issues, and I will not discuss why different choices might have been made for different coin issues.
There is no commonly accepted 'standard description' of prow bronze types, nor is there a consensus as to what the various design elements shown on prow bronzes represent. The purpose of this description is not to resolve the various uncertainties, but only to provide a common language that can be used in this essay, to distinguish between different issues.
The obverses show Janus on the As, and right-facing busts of Saturn, Minerva, Hercules, Mercury, Roma (Bellona), and Mercury on Semis through Semuncia, respectively. The bearded heads of Janus and Saturn are unadorned except for laurel wreaths. Minerva wears a Corinthian helmet, with face guard and eye-slits, pushed back on her head, with a horsehair crest. Hercules wears a lion's skin. Sometimes there is a lion's tied-up lower leg or claw, or sometimes a club, at Hercules' neck level. Mercury wears a winged petasus (a sun-hat from Thessaly). Mercury's bust is sometimes draped and, rarely, a caduceus may be visible behind his shoulder. Roma (Bellona) wears a rounded Attic helmet, sometimes winged, sometimes with a gryphon protruding from its peak, and sometimes with a horsehair crest. The value mark is behind the head for Semis, Quadrans and Uncia, above the head for Triens and Sextans, and above the head for the As, except for group A1, where it is below the head. There is no value mark on the Semuncia. These obverse designs continue, with occasional variations, for the entire Republican anonymous coinage.
The reverses show a prow, which is the forward part of a ship, facing right. The visible section of the prow amounts to approximately one third of the length of the ship. At the right end of the prow there is an elevated acrostilium or prow-stem. The prow-stem is usually undecorated, but sometimes there is a curlicue at its end, a dot within the end, or a line within. The prow-stem can be solid fill or line-bounded, i.e. with a visible perimeter line.
Inside the prow structure, below deck level, there is a protruding oarbox at left, which is a reinforced bulge to protect the oars from side ramming, and is usually represented as a solid square with an X within. To the right of the oarbox there is an apotropaic eye, warding off evil. Below these features there is a horizontal line, sometimes shown dotted, which represents a central reinforcing beam, or mid-wale, running around the outside of the ship. This ends in a protruding proembolon, sometimes called the upper rostrum, which may have had a defensive nature, or may have been intended to run along, and break, a row of enemy oars. The proembolon is occasionally decorated with a dog's head.
Below the mid-wale, the bottom part of the ship and keel, and how these meet the sea, are represented in a variety of schematic ways. Most commonly there are three lines, converging from left towards right, without any special decoration. Sometimes there is diagonal hatching representing waves between the lower two lines. Rarely, on early issues, there may be a triangular area shown at keel level, containing diagonal or curved hatching, representing waves. In all cases the keel lines converge into a rostrum tridens, which is an offensive ramming weapon, typically with a covering made of iron or bronze, and with three prongs.
On deck, immediately to the left of the prowstem, there is a slanted area which represents an elevated fighting platform, from which attacks could be launched and missiles thrown onto enemy ships. On a number of issues the fighting platform is large, has a prominent extension at its upper-left side, slopes strongly downward from left to right, and usually contains a club within it. On the remaining, generally later, issues, the fighting platform reduces to a schematic triangle, bounded by the horizontal deck at bottom, by a small, angled, upright at left, and by an almost horizontal top line gently sloping downward from left to right.
On deck at the left of the fighting platform there are sometimes one or two small vertical lines, which sometimes have a dot at their top and are usually taken to represent mariners, but possibly represent upright spears.
On the top of the fighting platform there is a rectangular box, sometimes having a peaked top, with a long line extending to the left end of the fighting platform, and a short line at right, often sloping downward, extending towards the prowstem. There are various theories as to what this 'deck structure' represents. The box is traditionally called a 'deckhouse' by numismatists, due to its sometimes peaked top, but this makes little sense considering ancient images of ships; we should only expect people or nautical or military equipment on the fighting platform. Zehnacker considered it may be a capstan, but it seems much too large for this purpose. It can hardly represent the foremast and foresail, which should either be shown erected, or be left ashore during combat. Morello considers it may represent a swivel-type boarding bridge or corvus as used in the first Punic war, the box representing the fulcrum, the line at left representing the boarding bridge, and that at right representing its counterbalance or handle . Morrison describes it as the deck railing, without explanation. Finally it may just be a schematic representation of unspecific military or nautical equipment. I consider Morello's proposal to be elegant, and in concordance with the evolution of coin designs and naval history, but for the remainder of this paper I shall remain neutral and call it the 'deck structure'.
On coins after 150 BC the fundamental design of the prow changes in almost every detail. The differences in deck-top arrangements, lacking for example the traditional design of fighting platform and deck structure, but with a new type of structure to the left of the deck, suggest this is to a great extent due to actual changes in the design of ships over time. These new details are explained in the relevant sections of the arrangement. With the exception of the post-150 BC coinage, the basic obverse and reverse design applies to all coins described in this paper, with any exceptions noted for each series, and these full descriptions are not repeated.
Catalogue of Anonymous Struck Bronze Coins of the Roman Republic, McCabe arrangement
McCabe group AA RRC 38 Semilibral prow-right Sextans, Uncia, Semuncia, Quartuncia; obverse heads face left on Uncia, right on other coins.
The obverse types are as usual except that Roma faces left on Uncia. Reverse show prow right with elaborate details, including an elevated fighting platform with club within, and waves under keel. There is often a small wing between mid-wale and rostrum tridens. There are various engraving styles and flan. Coins can be classified by weight alone as the weights do not overlap with any later issue.
Group AA Illustrated Examples:
Sextans: 28.19g (AM, fig.AA.Sx.2*), 24.18g (RBW-NAC61 lot 112, fig.AA.Sx.1*);
Uncia: 13.44g (NAC51 lot 691, fig.AA.Un.2*), 10.26g (RBW-NAC61, fig.AA.Un.1*);
Semuncia: 7.00g (RBW-NAC61 lot 116, fig.AA.Su.3*), 6.86g (AM, fig.AA.Su.1*), 5.95g (Rauch83, 2008, fig.AA.Su.2*), 5.24g (RBW-NAC61 lot 118, fig.AA.Su.4*);
Quartuncia: 3.16g (AM, fig.AA.Qu.1*), 2.16g (AM, fig.AA.Qu.2*).
McCabe group A1 RRC41 Large devices. Broad flans. Triangular box at keel with waves. 50-100 gram As.
The devices are large, and struck on broad flans. Obverses have large busts. The reverse prow usually has a triangular box at keel with waves within. The prow is separated from the left hand border, giving the impression of being a standalone object or statue. Otherwise, there are variable prow details: e.g. variable deck infrastructure, decorative dolphins, clubs, variable number of mariners(?) etc. The value mark on the As is under Janus’ head. Strikes are well centered.
Group A1 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: horizontal value mark: 51.70g (RR), 51.57g (RR, fig.A1.As.1*), 50.94g (RR); vertical value mark: 34.34g (Paris.A923, overstrike, fig.A1.As.2*), unique. Additionally d’Ailly cites two further coins with the horizontal value mark, a mediocre example of 33.32g in his own collection and a better one at 42.85g, from the Duc de Luynes collection, bequeathed to the BNF in 1862-63. Neither could be located in BNF Paris, 2011, and the latter does not appear in J. Babelon’s catalogue of the Duc de Luynes collection.
Semis: 1st obverse die: 54.94g (Capitoline, RRC pl.VII,10), 31.15g (Paris.AF, fig.A1.Sm.1*). 2nd obverse die: 32.87g (Vecchi 15), 27.92g (AM, fig.A1.Sm.2*);
Triens: 29.90g (Tkalec Sept.2008), 25.88g (RR, fig.A1.Tr.2*), 25.56g (RBW-NAC61 lot 131, overstrike on RRC 38/5), 22.91g (RR, fig.A1.Tr.1*), 21.59 (BM.41.7.7);
Quadrans: 21.40g (RR, fig.A1.Qd.1*), 16.83g (RR, overstrike on Hieron II / horse), 13.18g (BM.41.8.5), 13.07g (RR, fig.A1.Qd.2*);
Sextans: 16.34g (Goodman-CNG43), 15.38g (RBW-NAC61 lot 136, fig.A1.Sx.1*), 15.35g (BM.41.9.2), 15.02g (Goodman-Triton1), 11.70g (Hannover.248);
Uncia: 11.05g (CGB 16), 9.54g (RR, fig.A1.Un.2*, no waves), 9.31g (RR, fig.A1.Un.1*, dolphins), 9.11g (BM.41.10.3), 8.57g (Hannover.251), 7.86g (RBW-NAC61 lot 138);
Semuncia: 5.05g (Artemide 29, A1.Su.1*), 4.28g (BM.41.11.3)
McCabe group A2 RRC41 Large devices, broad thin flans, three parallel lines at keel, no waves. 65 gram As.
The devices are large, and struck on broad thin flans. Types are generally low-relief. Obverses have large busts. The reverse prow usually has three almost parallel lines at keel, with no waves between the lines. The prow has the standard design of all later bronzes, and never has any decorative additions. The prow design merges with the left hand border of the coin. The value mark on the As is over Janus’ head. Sometimes there are weak strikes or casting holes on Triens, Semis and As. Some coins are overstrikes on Roman semilibral or foreign coins.
Group A2 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 70.69g (RR), 66.64g (RR, fig.A2.As.1*), 62.74g (Hannover.508), 59.67g (RBW-NAC61 lot 126), 53.13g (RR, fig.A2.As.2*), 50.56g (Paris.AF94 = RRC pl.XI,5)
Semis: 39.15g (RR), 33.92 (Paris.A924), 32.63g (RBW-NAC61 lot 128, fig.A2.Sm.1*), 30.58g (Milan), 21.16g (AM, 38/5 overstrike)
Triens: 30.97g (Fitzwilliam), 28.51g (Hannover.220 38/5 overstrike), 24.56g (RBW-NAC61 lot 130, 38/5 overstrike, fig.A2.Tr.2*), 24.91g (RBW-NAC61 lot 130, fig.A2.Tr.1*), 17.92g (Goodman-CNG43)
Quadrans: 19.72g (Hannover.231), 19.43g (RR, fig.A2.Qd.1*), 17.61g (Hannover.234, fig.A2.Qd.3*), 14.93g (Hannover.236), 14.39 (RBW-NAC61 lot 133, fig.A2.Qd.2*), 13.49g (RBW-NAC61 lot 135, fig.A2.Qd.4*)
Sextans: 13.45g (ROMA Numismatics I, fig.A2.Sx.1*), 12.68g (Fitzwilliam), 12.06g (Hannover.247 38/6 overstrike), 11.27g (BM.41.9.5)
Uncia: 8.12g (RR), 5.65g (BM.41.10.19), 5.18g (AM, fig.A2.Un.1*), 4.53g (BM.56.7.2)
Semuncia: 3.64g (CGB 32), 3.40g (BM.56.8.1), 2.86g (BM.56.8.2), 2.51g (BM.56.8.3, fig.A2.Su.1*)
McCabe group B Related to RRC 42, RRC 72 corn-ear. Elevated long sloping fighting platform with club.
The prow design is as per coins of RRC 42 or RRC 72/5-10, with an elevated elongated sloping fighting platform, having a club inside, in the style of these Sicilian issues, but missing the corn-ear above. The related bull and snake Quadrans without corn-ear is also of RRC 42/2 or RRC 72/7 style and weight.
Group B1 Illustrated Examples:
Quadrans (16.42g, Artemide 7E, B1.Qd.1*), Sextans (7.88g, Tkalec Sept.2008, B1.Sx.1*), Uncia (RR, B1.Un.1*) and Semuncia (3.21g, Goodman-Triton1, B1.Su.1*).
McCabe group C1 Related to RRC 89 club. Short thick prowstem. Low profile fighting platform with club. 50 gram As.
Design elements are like RRC 89, including a broad head, shaggy beards, short thick converging prowstem, and keel lines sloping upwards towards rostrum. There is usually a club within a low profile (not elevated) fighting platform, and a wide flat-topped deck structure. These coins are of very fine style, with well centered strikes on broad flans, which contrasts with the main bulk of the RRC 89 issue.
Group C1 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 52.91g (RR), 49.39g (Hannover.514), 46.13g (Goodman-CNG45 lot 1169), 44.55g (Artemide 29 lot 147, fig.C1.As.1*);
Semis: 30.18g (RR), 26.21g (Paris.AF = RRC pl.XII,6, fig.C1.Sm.1* ), 24.82g (Hannover.597), 23.56g (RR, fig.C1.Sm.2*), 20.68 (Paris.A938);
Quadrans: 11.76g (BM.56.5.13 = RRC pl.XII,9, club, fig.C1.Qd.1*), 10.44g (BM.56.5.15, no club), 7.23g (RR, no club, fig.C1.Qd.2*);
Sextans: 8.42g (Goodman-CNG45 lot 1182), 5.82g (Tintinna 11 lot 1008, fig.C1.Sx.1*);
Uncia: 3.78g (CGB Rome12 lot 66, fig.C1.Un.1*). Berlin 18200879 may be a no-club example.
McCabe group C2 Related to RRC 80 dolphin. Narrow heads, long tall prowstem, peaked deck structure. 50 gram As.
Elements of the design which are like RRC 80 include: narrow elongated heads, long tall curved prowstem peaked deck structure, and horizontal keel lines. The coins are struck on thick dumpy and relatively short flans which compare to coins of RRC 80 or RRC 89.
Group C2 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 54.00g (CNGe257 lot 327, fig.C2.As.1*), 53.20g (AM, fig.C2.As.2*), 46.22g (P.865 = RRC pl.XI,6, fig.C2.As.3*);
Semis: 27.27g (Artemide 16E lot 86, 2012), 23.07g (Paris.A931 = RRC pl.XI,9, fig.C2.Sm.1*);
Triens: 10.78g (BM.56.4.24, fig.C2.Tr.1*);
Quadrans: 10.11g (Paris.A1006 = RRC pl.XII,1, fig.C2.Qd.1*);
Sextans: 9.04g (Tkalec Sept.2008 lot 215, fig.C2.Sx.1*);
Uncia: 6.25g (RR, fig.C2.Un.1*).
McCabe group C3 Related to RRC 80 and RRC 89. Combines design elements of both, 45 gram As.
These coins mix group C design elements and styles, with obverses like C1 matched with reverses like C2, or with obverses like C2 matched with reverses like C1, or with hybrid reverse designs. They are struck on thick dumpy short flans similar to coins of RRC 80 or RRC 89.
Group C3 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
C3 club obverse / dolphin reverse As: 51.60g (Paris.A861, fig.C3.As.1*), 42.53g (CNG79 lot 800, fig.C3.As.2*);
C3 dolphin obverse / club reverse As: 60.36g (Paris.A856), 53.18g (Hannover.509), 52.86g (RR, fig.C3.As.3*), 36.88g (RR, fig.C3.As.4*).
McCabe group D1 Related to RRC 50 anchor. Broad squared Janus, tall thick prowstem, prominent keel and rostrum. 40 gram As.
Asses have a broad square Janus head. Reverses have tall thick prowstems which are either line bounded or solid fill. There are often curved keel lines with downward pointing rostrums. The deck structures are small and flat-topped. Flans are thick and dumpy. There are often off-strikes, flat-strikes or flan defects. The flans, fabric and style differ greatly from the main Rome bronze groups A and G, so are not from the main bronze mint at Rome.
Group D1 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 45.81g (RR, fig.D1.As.3*), 45.52g (ANS 1944.100.100), 40.13g (ANS 1969.83.139), 38.36g (AM, fig.D1.As.1*), 34.85g (Fitzwilliam, CM.1132-1950), 34.32g (BM.56.2.9, fig.D1.As.2*).
Semis: 18.57g (RR), 17.34g (internet 2011, fig.D1.Sm.3*), 13.38g (BM.56.3.18, fig.D1.Sm.1*), 13.18g (RR, fig.D1.Sm.2*).
McCabe group E1 Related to RRC 106 staff and club. Wide staring eyes, thick hairlines. Concave reverses, keel lines converge. 35 gram As.
Obverses are in high relief with wide staring eyes and thick hairlines in Etruscan style. Reverses are concave, on thick dumpy flans, and often flat struck at edges. Prows have line-bounded prowstems, square deck structures, and a prominent line to the left of the deck structure. The keel lines are widely spaced at left and converge into prominent rostrum tridens.
Group E1 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 44.90g (Leu 75), 44.88g (Vecchi 6 lot 674), 42.84g (Artemide 27 lot 71), 40.58g (Berlin.18201125, fig.E1.As.1*), 34.49g (RR, fig.E1.As.2*);
Semis: 19.36g (RR), 18.64g (BM.56.3.1), 17.62g (Berlin.18201128), 16.60g (AM, fig.E1.Sm.1*);
Triens: 14.10g (AM, fig.E1.Tr.2*), 12.73g (Goodman-CNG43 lot 1290), 12.56g (RR, fig.E1.Tr.1*), 11.25g (Hannover.645);
Quadrans: 9.87g (AM, fig.E1.Qd.1*), 9.23g (Hannover.672), 8.57g (Tkalec Feb.2008 lot 356);
Sextans: 7.09g (Goodman-CNG43 lot 1301), 4.96g (Berlin.18201142, fig.E1.Sx.1*), 4.26g (RR), 4.20g (RR);
Uncia: 2.60g (RR, fig.E1.Un.1*), 2.59g (Hannover.1242).
McCabe group F1 Related to RRC 85 H, and RRC 86 anchor and Q. Two reverse styles – regular or Luceria-style prow. Top two keel lines of regular reverse join mid-prow. 35 gram As.
Obverses are in high relief. The general style, for examples Janus, or Hercules’ truncation, or the regular reverse prow, is like RRC 86 anchor and Q. The As closely matches a variant of RRC 85 H. Reverses of Sextans and Quadrans have either regular, or Luceria style, prows with a club in an elevated fighting platform. On regular reverses, the top and central keel lines join half way across prow. Flans are thin and broad akin to late issues of Luceria.
Group F1 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 43.48g (CNG 79 lot 801); 32.59g (RR, fig.F1.As.2*), 29.30g (Paris.A916, fig.F1.As.1*);
Semis: 15.32g (EBP); 11.60g (Hannover.629); 10.50g (RR, fig.F1.Sm.1*);
Triens: 10.53g (Goodman-CNG43 lot 1288); 9.56g (RR, fig.F1.Tr.1*); 9.19g (Hannover.654); 7.60g (BM.56.4.11);
Quadrans: 8.96g (RR, fig.F1.Qd.2*, Luceria style); 8.39g (Hannover.677, regular style); 7.05g (AM, fig.F1.Qd.1*, regular style), 5.79g (BM.56.5.9 Luceria style);
Sextans: 6.34g (BM.106.8.2, regular style); 6.11g (Paris.A1022, regular style); 6.07g (CNGe218 lot 401, fig.F1.Sx.1*, regular style); 5.30g (AM, fig.F1.Sx.2*, Luceria style).
McCabe group F2 Related to RRC 97 L and RRC 99 P. Irregular Luceria reverses with curved lines. 25 gram As.
The issue includes irregular Luceria style reverses, an elevated fighting platform with club, waves at keel level, and curved lines throughout the reverse (e.g. a curved keel, a curved top of fighting platform). This gives the impression of an irregular issue, but the style often matches coins with RRC 99 P mintmark and sometimes with RRC 97 L mintmark.
In the paper on anonymous bronzes I also defined a group F3 that includes normal RRC97, RRC98, RRC99 and RRC100 types
but missing their mintmarks. As these are more likely mint errors rather than deliberately issued anonymous coins, I
do not include them on the webpage.
Group F2 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 52.63g (RBW-NAC61 lot 410), 24.40g (RR, fig.F2.As.1*), with L mintmark;
Semis: 11.90g (RBW-NAC61 lot 423, fig.F2.Sm.1*), with L mintmark;
Triens: 6.61g (Paris.A1106 = RRC pl.X,24), 6.21g (BM.99.5.2, fig.F2.Tr.1*), 6.15g (RBW-NAC61 lot 424);
Sextans: 5.86g (RBW-NAC61 lot 425, fig.F2.Sx.1*).
As: 19.80g (AM, fig.F2.As.2*) with uncertain mintmark, 18.81g (Goodman-Triton1 lot 938) with P mintmark;
Semis: 14.51g (RR, fig.F2.Sm3*), 10.60g (Paris.A3254, fig.F2.Sm.2*), 9.81g (Paris.A1093 = RRC pl.X,23);
Quadrans: 6.29g (Paris.A1127), 5.67g (Artemide 25 lot 293), 4.30g (RRC pl.XI,2 = BM.56.5.11 = fig.F2.Qd.1*), Citta Ducale (RRC pl.XI,1 = fig.F2.Qd.2*);
Sextans: 4.95g (Paris AF = RRC pl.XI,3 = fig.F2.Sx.2*).
McCabe group G1 RRC56 Neat high-relief devices, well-centered on broad flans. Line-bounded bulbous prowstems. Small Janus heads. 40 gram As.
Coins have neat high-relief devices, and are carefully struck on well-made flans that are usually larger than the design circle. Asses have small Janus heads relative to the die-circle. Styles are an evolution of series A2. Prowstems are line-bounded and bulbous.
Group G1 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 55.31g (CNG61 lot 1126), 47.25g (RR, fig.G1.As.1*), 41.26g (Paris.A873, fig.G1.As.2*), 39.28g (Tkalec, fig.G1.As.3*), 36.06g (RR, fig.G1.As.4*);
Semis: 31.02g (Milan 213, variant rev.), 24.23g (RR, fig.G1.Sm.1*), 20.76g (Berlin.18201130, variant rev. fig.G1.Sm.2*), 15.80g (RR, fig.G1.Sm.3*);
Triens: 16.17g (Artemide 29 lot 152), 15.13g (RR, fig.G1.Tr.1*), 12.31g (RR, fig.G1.Tr.2*), 12.12g (Berlin.18201134);
Quadrans: 13.75g (RR, fig.G1.Qd.1*), 11.84g (RR, variant rev., fig.G1.Qd.2*);
Sextans: 11.19g (RR, exceptional flan), 7.95g (RR, fig.G1.Sx.1*), 7.22g (RR, fig.G1.Sx.2*), 5.37g (BM.56.6.5 overstrike on 41/10 Uncia);
Uncia: 6.45g (BM.56.7.1), 4.61g (RR, fig.G1.Un.1*), 3.73g (AM, fig.G1.Un.2*);
Semuncia: 3.06g (Paris.A1043), 2.77g (AM, fig.G1.Su.1*), 2.61g (RR, fig.G1.Su.2*).
McCabe group G2 RRC56 Large Janus heads, low-relief, unsmiling. Line-bounded kinked-back prowstem. 40 gram As.
Heads on all denominations are in low-relief and are distinctly unsmiling. The head of Janus is consistently larger than on group G1. Prowstems are line-bounded and kinked-back at the end. Devices are about the same sizes as their flans.
Group G2 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 50.87g (Hannover.513), 43.26g (BM.56.2.3, fig.G2.As.1*), 36.07g (Fitzwilliam, CM.RR.100-R), 31.46g (Goodman-CNG43 lot 1267, fig.G2.As.3*), 28.70g (CNG79 lot 797, fig.G2.As.2*), 20.50g (BM.56.2.18);
Semis: 22.74g (Fitzwilliam, CM.50.581-1939), 21.83g (RR, fig.G2.Sm.1*), 19.59g (Morgantina pl.46,511, fig.G2.Sm.2*);
Triens: 12.67g (RR), 9.37g (AM, fig.G2.Tr.1*), 7.30g (Morgantina pl.46,512, fig.G2.Tr.2*);
Quadrans: 8.41g (RR, fig.G2.Qd.1*);
Sextans: 5.08g (AM, fig.G2.Sx.1*);
Uncia: 3.95g (BM.56.7.4, fig.G2.Un.1*).
McCabe group G3 RRC56 Large Janus heads. Long slim near horizontal prowstem. 35 gram As.
Heads of Janus are large, similar to those on group G2 but with generally happier features. Prows have a long, slim, near horizontal prowstem. The devices are about the same size as the flans.
Group G3 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 43.49g (Artemide 29 lot 148), 42.88g (RR, fig.G3.As.2*), 40.49 (RR, fig.G3.As.1*), 35.09g (Goodman-Triton1,881), 34.81g (Paris.A899), 33.40g (Paris.AF127).
Semis: 20.74g (Edgar Owen, fig.G3.Sm.1*), 17.00g (RBW-NAC61 lot 218), 15.82g (RR, fig.G3.Sm.2*), 11.15g (BM.56.3.5).
Triens: 15.34g (RR), 14.13g (RR, fig.G3.Tr.1*), 13.30g (BM.56.4.2), 11.53g (Paris.A985, fig.G3.Tr.2*).
Quadrans: 13.14g (Hannover.664), 12.78g (AM, fig.G3.Qd.1*), 11.11g (RR, fig.G3.Qd.2*), 10.09g (BM.56.5.17).
Sextans: 8.28g (Goodman-CNG43 lot 1305), 7.63g (Hannover.690), 6.39g (M&M DE 9, lot 348, fig.G3.Sx.1*), 5.61g (RR fig.G3.Sx.2*).
Uncia: 5.91g (RBW-NAC61 lot 223, fig.G3.Un.2*), 5.18g (Hannover.709), 4.31g (RR, fig.G3.Un.1*).
Semuncia: 2.98g (Paris.A1045), 2.56g (RR, fig.G3.Su.2*), 2.31g (RR, fig.G3.Su.1*), 1.94g (BM.56.8.7).
McCabe group G4 RRC56 Large Janus heads. Tall narrow curved prowstem. 35 gram As.
Heads of Janus are large, similar to those on group G3. Prowstems are tall, narrow and curved. The devices are about the same sizes as the flans. There appears to be a stylistic relationship to the heavy issue bronzes of RRC 61 Victory. This is a small transitional issue between the main group G issues and the post-war group J1.
Group G4 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 38.38g (Fitzwilliam CM.6551-2007), 37.40g (Hannover.545, Ostia hoard, fig.G4.As.1*).
Semis: 22.35g (BM.56.3.15), 16.97g (RR, fig.G4.Sm.1*).
Triens: 8.53g (Künker 2010, fig.G4.Tr.1*).
Quadrans: 6.77g (RR, fig.G4.Qd.1*).
Sextans: 7.51g (RBW-NAC61 lot 222, fig.G4.Sx.1*).
Uncia: 4.22g (Paris.A1036), 3.56g (Hannover.713, fig.G4.Un.1*), 3.21g (BM.56.7.7).
Semuncia: 1.86g (BM.56.8.8, fig.G4.Su.1*).
McCabe group H1 RRC56 Half-weight fractions, overstrikes on Punic bronzes. Styles derivative from various issues of groups G. 15-20 gram As.
These coins are overstrikes on Punic and other captured bronzes, at half usual the weight, and can be clearly separated by weight, as well as by design, from Rome group G issues. These are possibly from Sardinian, Sicilian or non-Roman Italian mints. Design is based on prototypes of Rome mint coins of groups G1, G3, and G4, but with simplified prow designs; thus group H post-dates group G. Engraving is of good style, with large heads relative to flans.
Group H1 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
Semis: 10.22g (RBW-NAC61 lot 845, uncertain o/st, fig.H1.Sm.1*), 9.78g (M&M DE 9 lot 345, on Carthaginian bronze, fig.H1.Sm.2*), 9.69g (CNGe219 lot 390), 8.85g (Goodman-CNG43,1286);
Triens: 8.46g (Brunetti E2 lot 19), 7.39g (M&M DE 19 lot 521, uncertain o/s, fig.H1.Tr.1*), 7.23g (BM.56.4.12, fig.H1.Tr.2*), 5.84g (BM.56.4.29, on Bretti, fig.H1.Tr.4*), 5.34g (RR uncertain o/s, fig.H1.Tr.3*), 4.94g (Artemide 1E lot 10086, on Hieron II Poseidon /trident, fig.H1.Tr.5*), 4.46g (M&M DE 19 lot 522, on 41/10 Uncia, fig.H1.Tr.6*), 4.33g (ArtCoins Roma e6 lot 126, fig.H1.Tr.7*);
Quadrans: 6.75g (Goodman-CNG45,1181, on Tanit/horse, fig.H1.Qd.1*), 5.44g (RR, uncertain o/s, fig.H1.Qd.2*), 4.29g (RR, uncertain o/s, fig.H1.Qd.3*). 4.01g (BM.56.5.22 on Capua Uncia Jupiter/Victory, fig.H1.Qd.4*);
Sextans: 3.92g (RR), 3.71g (RR, fig.H1.Sx.1*), 2.61g (RR on Tanit/horse, fig.H1.Sx.2*), 2.41g (CNGe59 on Tanit/horse, fig.H1.Sx.3*), 2.34g (BM.56.6.1 on Tanit/horse, fig.H1.Sx.4*), 2.32g (London Ancient Coins 7 lot 30, uncertain o/s, fig.H1.Sx.5*), 2.22g (AM, uncertain o/s, fig.H1.Sx.6*), 1.90g (RR uncertain o/s, H1.Sx.7*);
Uncia: 2.20g (AM, fig.H1.Un.1*), 2.16g (RR, brockage, fig.H1.Un.2*).
McCabe group H2 H2, RRC56 Dupondius RRC 56/1, half weight overstrikes on 40g Asses.
These Minerva/Prow dupondius types are overstrikes on 40 gram Asses. The undertype weights correspond to Rome group G. Also discussed are two specimens of RRC 69/1 with stylistic details identical to RRC 69/2 As, proving a second Punic war dating for both types.
Group H2 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
Dupondius: 47.69g (BM.56.1.1 ex Ostia hoard 1908); 46.33g (RBW-NAC61 lot 214 ex Platt Hall 1950); 45.50g (Gnecchi ); 43.00 (Museo Nazionale di Roma ex Ostia hoard), 41.08g (Paris.1985-4, fig.H2.Dp.1*); 39.50g (Hamburger 1896); 39.37g (BM.69.1.1, as RRC 69/1, ex Spink 1909, fig.RRC69.1.2*); 39.20g (Paris.A1070, incorrectly classified as RRC 56/1 but should be RRC 69/1, fig.RRC69.1.1*); 38.55g (Spink 1913 ex Ostia hoard 1908); 38.25g (RR ex Garrett 1927); 37.95g (uncertain example); 37.87g (Paris.AF.RR1143 , fig.H2.Dp.2*); 37.10g (Ratto ex Ostia hoard 1908); 35.62g (Hannover.507 ex Mayer). Another example, in the P.Bonazzi collection example, is cited by Crawford as coming from the Ostia 1908 hoard.
McCabe group I1 RRC56 Uncertain, broad smiling head, prominent beard, short rounded prowstem. Small thick flans. 35 gram As.
This is an uncertain issue on small thick flans with broad smiling heads and prominent beards. There are similarities to RRC 86B anchor and Q including flan size, style of Janus head, a prow with rounded prowstem, and top two keel lines which join mid-prow. There are also some similarities with Rome group G1 and with Etruria group E1. The engraving is of high quality, and the flan production and strikes are more typical of Etruria than Apulia. So the mint location is uncertain.
Group I1 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 43.00g (Hamburger 96,274), 31.38g (RR, fig.I1.As.2*), 36.46g (Goodman-CNG43,1272), 31.16g (Fitzwilliam, CM.RR.96-R, fig.I1.As.1*), 28.21g (Paris.A918);
Semis: 19.77g (Lanz, 2011), 16.69g (Goodman-CNG47,1071, fig.I1.Sm.1*);
Sextans: 8.23g (RR, fig.I1.Sx.1*).
McCabe group I2 Uncertain, broad flans, complex deck structures, perhaps Apulia, 40 gram As.
This is an uncertain but likely official issue from Apulia, with possible stylistic links to RRC 85 H. Coins have broad flans, complex prow superstructures, and narrow prowstems. There are several different design varieties of the As, and the group includes an uncertain Triens and Quadrans.
Group I2 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
Given the internal lack of homogeneity in this issue, which is effectively a parking place for uncertain issues of Apulia, it is not useful to analyse weights, but from the five coins cited the weight standard appears to be about 40 grams.
As: 49.21 (RR, fig.I2.As.3*), 36.12g (Artemide 11E, fig.I2.As.2*), 38.31g (Artemide 34, fig.I2.As.1*). I am aware of one other example which is a die-match to fig.I2.As.2, and one other example with the design-style (but not die matched) to fig.I2.As.1. I have not seen any other example akin to fig.I2.As.1;
Triens: 12.05g, (BM.56.5.8, fig.I2.Tr.1);
Quadrans: 8.39g, (BM.56.5.12, fig.I2.Qd.1).
McCabe group J1 Related RRC 113 star. Fine style dignified obverses. Straight sided tall and long prowstem. 40 gram As.
Obverses are engraved in a very dignified fine style. Prowstems are tall and narrow, with almost parallel converging straight sides. Flans are well made. Design elements and style are consistent with RRC 113 star As and Semis (or with RRC 196 Triens and Quadrans), and are also similar to RRC 114 rostrum tridens, RRC 122 dog and other issues around 200 BC.
Group J1 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As, 45.61g (BM.56.2.2), 39.02g (RBW-NAC61 lot 215, fig.J1.As.1*), 37.99g (Goodman-CNG45 1171), 33.10g (BM.56.2.11);
Semis, 17.49g (RR, fig.J1.Sm.1*);
Triens, 5.72g (RR, fig.J1.Tr.1*);
Quadrans, 8.84g (RR, fig.J1.Qd.1*);
Sextans, 5.63g (RR, fig.J1.Sx.1*);
Uncia, 3.02g (AM, fig.J1.Un.1*);
Semuncia, 3.13g (M&M9, fig.J1.Su.1*).
McCabe group J2 Related RRC 132 to RRC 150. Includes both flat and peaked deck structures. Obverse style less fine than group J1.
This is a mixed style group with both flat and peaked deck structure As and fractions resembling a range of issues from RRC 132 ME through RRC 150 M.TITINI, which are dated in RRC to the 190s – 180s BC. Obverse styles are less finely engraved and less dignified than group J1. This group includes the I-above prow peaked deck structure anonymous As, which has usually been classified as RRC 197-198B/1a, but in fact relates to the RRC 145 Victory and spearhead type.
Group J2 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As with peaked deck structure: 37.32g (Hannover.548, Ostia hoard, fig.J2.As.2*), 35.38g (Hannover.557, Ostia hoard, fig.J2.As.3*), 28.76g (Yale 2001.87.5005, fig.J2.As.1*);
As with flat deck structure: 34.63g (Brunetti E7, fig.J2.As.4*), 34.20 (Hannover.567, Ostia hoard, fig.J2.As.5*);
Semis: 19.38g (Paris.A944, fig.J2.Sm.1*);
Quadrans: 7.62g (Goodman, fig.J2.Qd.1*), 6.34g (BM.56.5.8, fig.J2.Qd.2*);
Sextans: 5.60g (AM, with caduceus, fig.J2.Sx.1*), 5.53g (Paris.AF164, fig.J2.Sx.3*), 4.44g (AM, fig.J2.Sx.2*), 4.30g (Hannover.704).
McCabe group K1 Related RRC 183 wolf and twins, RRC 184 butterfly and vine-branch. Small dumpy flans, thick denomination mark, wide curving prowstems. 25 gram As.
These coins are related to one style of RRC 183 wolf and twins or RRC 184 butterfly and vine-branch, having small dumpy flans, prominent forehead hair, abnormally thick denomination marks, and wide, curving and converging prowstems. Note that there also exists another RRC 183, RRC 184 style which is struck on broad thin flans with finer die engraving, suggesting that two workshops existed at the time.
Group K1 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 30.83g (Yale 2001.87.5004); 28.57g (Goodman-CNG43); 27.64g (Hannover.583 Ostia hoard); 26.75g (RR, fig.K1.As.2*); 26.67g (Yale 2001.87.5008); 22.65g (Vecchi 3); 21.80g (AM, fig.K1.As.1*); 21.37g (Goodman-CNG43)
McCabe group K2 Related RRC 173 to RRC 213. Cartoon-style obverses, wild hair. Sometimes irregular curved prows. Flat deck structures. 30 gram As.
This is a mixed style group, with flat deck structure As and fractions, resembling a range of issues from RRC 173 C.SAX to RRC 213 mast and sail, of the 170s to 150s BC. There are often cartoon-style obverses with wild hair styles. Prows may sometimes be irregularly shaped and curved.
Group K2 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 38.97g (Hannover.539, Ostia hoard, style as fig.K2.As.1), 33.52g (Goodman-CNG47, style as fig.K2.As.1), 32.20g (Holyland Coins 2011, style as fig.K2.As.2), 30.52g (Pegasi 2010, style as fig.K2.As.1), 27.86g (RR, fig.K2.As.2*), 27.30g (AM, fig.K2.As.1*), 21.32g (RR, fig.K2.As.3*), 16.24g (RR, style as fig.K2.As.3);
Semis: 16.74g (RBW-NAC61 lot 219, fig.K2.Sm.1*);
Triens: 9.74g (RBW-NAC61 lot 220, fig.K2.Tr.1*), 9.20g (AM, value mark above prow), 8.72g (Paris.A995, fig.K2.Tr.2*);
Sextans: 3.52g (RR, fig.K2.Sx.1*).
McCabe group K3 RRC 197-198B/1b and fractions. Peaked deck structure, value before prow, unkempt beard, bulbous prowstem. 25 gram As.
This issue includes RRC 197-198B/1b and its related fractions. There is always a peaked deck structure, and the value mark is before the prow on all denominations (note that all peaked deck structure Asses, with a value mark above the prow, are from one of the earlier groups C2, C3 or J2). The obverse style, with an unkempt Janus beard, the reverse prow style, and the bulbous prowstem are as per RRC 196 star. The peaked deck structure and denomination positions are as RRC 194 anchor. There is a homogeneous style, suggesting a single engraver.
Group K3 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
As: 26.80g (AM), 26.63g (Yale 2001.87.5041 Janiculum hoard, fig.K3.As.1*), 22.07g (Paris.A1080, fig.K3.As.5*), 21.67g (RR, fig.K3.As.4*), 21.02g (Yale 2001.87.5042 Janiculum hoard, fig.K3.As.3*), 20.56g (Yale 2001.87.5043 Janiculum hoard, fig.K3.As.2*);
Semis: 15.20g (Goodman-CNG45,1473), 14.41g (Paris.A1087, fig.K3.Sm.2*), 14.30g (RR, fig.K3.Sm.1*), 10.74g (RR);
Triens: 8.12g (AM, fig.K3.Tr.1*);
Quadrans: 7.69g (Hannover.2416, fig.K3.Qd.1*);
Sextans: 5.86g (RR, fig.K3.Sx.1*).
McCabe group L1 RRC 272. High relief narrow obverses. Peaked deck structures, gated area to left, rounded waves under prow. 15 gram As.
There are high relief narrow obverses with forward leaning heads. Sometimes Saturn has a very prominent beard. The prows have peaked deck structures, to the left of which is a gated area on deck. There are always waves on a rounded bulge under the prow, which are a key feature to distinguish these coins from those of group K3. The denomination mark is always before prow. Strikes are well centred strikes on small carefully made flans.
Group L1 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
Semis: 10.37g (Vecchi sale 3), 9.60g (RBW-NAC61 lot 1086), 6.56g (Artemide 14E lot 14145, fig.L1.Sm.2*), 6.12g (RR, fig.L1.Sm.1*);
Triens: 6.34g (RR), 6.20g (RBW-NAC61 lot 1087, fig.L1.Tr.1*);
Quadrans: 5.90g (Paris.A1136), 4.49g (BM.272.2.1), 3.38g (RR, fig.L1.Qd.1*).
McCabe group L2 Late first century BC anonymous issues copying the style of late second century BC issues. 20-30 gram As.
Lightweight, issues including As denomination which usually indicates an official issue. Reverses have short rounded prowstems, very wide deck structure with angled ends. Flans are thin. The Trientes are known from Pompeii in a 100 BC archaeological context. The Asses are of the same style. No relation to any RRC issue.
Group L2 Illustrated coins, and selected other museum or published examples:
Two of the four Trientes cited by Stannard are broken; the other two weigh 6.57g and 11.57g (fig.L2.Tr.1*). The As, which relates to the Trientes, weighs 19.51g (AM, fig.L2.As.1*).
McCabe group M1 RRC 339 and RRC 350B. Prow either right or left. Prow design includes Greek key decorative patterns with dots within, and waves under the keel. 12 gram As.
Prow is either right or left. Prow design usually includes Greek-key decorative patterns or matrix of squares with dots within, and waves under the keel. There may be a gated arrangement on deck, and sometimes there is an elevated peaked deck structure. The apotropaic eye, usual on all earlier issues, is either very small or not present. There is no central deck structure as was normal on all earlier issues. Designs which do not include the majority of these elements are likely to be imitations.
Group M1 Illustrated Examples:
As: RRC 339/1a: 8.64g (AM, fig.M1.As.1); RRC 339/1c: 11.74g (RBW-NAC63 lot 17, fig.M1.As.2); 13.30g (Paris.AF = cited coin for RRC 339/1b, fig.M1.As.3);
Semis: RRC 350B/1: 6.53g (RBW-NAC63 lot 118, fig.M1.Sm.1);
Triens: RRC 350B/2a: 4.46g (RBW-NAC63 lot 119, fig.M1.Tr.1);
Quadrans: RRC 339/4b: 3.89g (RBW-NAC63 lot 20, fig.M1.Qd.1); RRC 350B/4d: 3.47g (AM, fig.M1.Qd.2); RRC 350B/4a: 3.25g (RBW-NAC63 lot 120, fig.M1.Qd.3).
Imitations of Roman Republican Anonymous struck bronzes
Figs.IM1 (RR, 16.09g), IM2 (BM.272.1.1, 13.96g), IM3 (RR, 5.52g) – As, Semis and Quadrans, peaked deck structure, imitating groups K3 (RRC 197-198B) or L1 (RRC 272).
Figs.IM4 (AM, 13.10g), IM5 (RR, 6.63g) – generic peaked deck structure As and Triens, of moderately good style and not imitating any specific issue. Semisses of this type are very common, because of their reasonable style they are often presumed official perhaps also in ancient times.
Figs.IM6 (RR, 10.92g), IM7 (BM.56.3.12, 8.60g), IM8 (RR, 9.53g), IM9 (RR, 8.31g) – more Semisses, sometimes of good weight. Fig.IM7 seems to be imitating a coin of groups J1 or G4; fig.IM8 clearly imitates a late first century BC type as is evident from the prow details.
Figs.IM10 (Lanz, 6.31g), IM11 (CNGe220, 10.33g), IM12 (RR, 4.93g) – show some of the extremes between poor style in the case of fig.IM10 and good albeit not official style for fig.IM11. The reverse of fig.IM12 clearly copies coins of the 160s and 150s BC whilst the obverse is wholly irregular. As with fig.IM8 it raises a point as to whether we can date imitations from when they copy a presumably unworn coin in good style.
Figs.IM13 (RR, 15.68g), IM14 (RBW-NAC61, 14.88g) – again illustrate the differences between attempts at faithful copies, and generic copies. Fig.IM13 reverse clearly copies a specific coin type as seen from the prowstem of 160 BC vintage; in contrast fig.IM14 is a generic type not related to any official issue.
Figs.IM15 (RR, 19.39g) – a heavy and stylistically remarkable coin, evident copied by a skilled engraver in the exact style of the mid second century BC, witness details such as the form of Janus’ beard and the shape of the prowstem. However the structure and shape of the prow is quite incorrect.
1. Roman Coins of Luceria and Canusium
2. Anonymous Struck Bronze Coins of the Roman Republic
3. Anonymous Roman Republican Denarii and Victoriati (Steve Brinkman's site)