|Roman Republican Coins and Books by Andrew McCabe
Roman Coins of Luceria and Canusium, arrangement M.H. Crawford, RRC, with comments
The purpose of this web-site is to provide illustrated examples of all the RRC varieties of the coins of Luceria (Lucera in modern Italy) and Canusium (Canosa in modern Italy), and thereby to provide a baseline for further study of the series. This presentation should help people to identify coins in this notoriously difficult series. The catalogue should be read alongside Roman Republican Coinage, Michael H. Crawford, Cambridge, 1974, to which the catalogue numbers refer.
The coin descriptions note characteristics of their designs which should serve as a basis for a future classification. For example, there are a number of coins which are described as having 'bulbous prowstems', which have a star engraved on the side of the prow, and which are of consistently heavy weight standard, are of a common engraving style, and all have thick flans. In a future reclassification of these coins, I would be minded to group such coins together based on their common characteristics. There is another group of Luceria L types, again of heavy weight, that are always struck on broad thin flans, and that have very different engraving style and design characteristics (for example, placement of mintmarks, shape of prow) when compared with the 'bulbous prowstem' group, but that have very close links to the coinage of the RRC 98 LT series. In a future reclassification of these coins, I would be minded to group such coins together with the LT series based on their common characteristics. I have also noted many minor varieties of the coinage that were not specifically identified in RRC. In many cases these varieties can be subsumed under an existing RRC number. In other cases I have felt it necessary to introduce additional numbers, for example my new group RRC 97B, for types not included in RRC.
However the purpose of these web-pages is not (yet) to reclassify, but to present the coinage exactly as classified by Michael Crawford in RRC. This should be regarded as a baseline study
The inspiration for many of the stylistic and design observations on these web-pages came from Roberto Russo who studied the coins of Luceria over many years. Roberto passed away in 2012. He had by then documented, but not published, many observations about this coinage. I had independently studied this coinage, with a special focus on metrology and minor design details. It is my intent to combine the observations documented by Roberto with my own researches in a future study of the series. These web-pages are a necessary starting point, for in order to comment on the arrangement presented in Michael Crawford's RRC, it is necessary to understand what this arrangement is.
The following single-tray illustrations, obverses and reverses, provides an overview of the bronze coin types and their likely relationships to each other. I present it without comment at this stage; in the course of each of the webpages related to RRC 43, RRC 97, RRC 98, RRC 99 and RRC 100 the associations will become clearer. At this stage it's sufficient to note that the coins can be arranged into approximately eight main groups.
Illustrated coins from the Paris collection are with permission of Dominique Hollard and Michel Amandry, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris. All photographs were taken by, and are copyright of, Andrew McCabe except those marked RR, which are copyright Numismatica Ars Classica.
Refer: RRC pp.153-154 (main entry); RRC pp.44-45 (dating); RRC p.718 (types); RRC Appendix 30*, 129*; RRC p.143 (for RRC 27/4); d'Ailly vol.ii, 660, 785; Haeberlin Aes Grave, 192-195; Sydenham 122-125 and 128-130; Average weight noted in RRC: 83 grams
The catalogue is formatted as a list of coin photos, with descriptions, in the order of Crawford RRC. I only comment when essential to illuminate varieties or missing types. The reader should consult Crawford RRC for additional information.
27/4 Luceria L Semuncia. Italian civic mint. Hercules / club / L under chin; sigma / Pegasus / ROMA. Paris d'Ailly 3388, 3g27
The Hercules / Pegasus type with L is engraved by the same die-cutters as for the other 'Italian civic mint' issues and its mintmark is in the same location under the chin as on the Triens RRC 43/3b and Sextans RRC 98A/6, so should be placed with the main Luceria coinage. It's weight indicates it is a Semuncia, from the post-semilibral period.
43/1 Luceria L Aes Grave As. Roman mint. Janus; I / Prow / L. AM#0602-78, 38.5mm 77g50
43/2a Luceria L Aes Grave Semis. Roman mint. Saturn; S / Prow / L. RBW 36g44
43/2a var. Luceria L Aes Grave Semis. Roman mint. Saturn; S retrograde / Prow / L. AM#1014-42, 35x37mm, 42g35
This variant has a retrograde reverse value mark. It is also of different, simpler style, with compact types.
43/2b Luceria L Semis. Roman mint. S / Saturn; S / Prow, star, bulbous stem / L / ROMA. Paris d'Ailly 3242, 41g91
This, the largest struck Semis in the Roman coinage series, has a prow with a bulbous prowstem and with a star on the flank of the prow between the oar-box and the apotropaic eye. These two features (the bulbous prowstem and star) are characteristic of other related denominations.
43/3a Luceria L Triens. Roman mint. oooo / L / Minerva large head; ROMA / prow, star, bulbous stem / oooo. RR 27g15
This, the main RRC 43/3a type, can be compared with RRC pl.VIII,11. It has a relatively large head when compared with the two varieties, and the prow has a rounded stem and star.
43/3a var. Luceria L Triens. Roman mint. oooo / L / Minerva small head; ROMA / prow, no star, angled narrow stem / oooo. Paris d'Ailly 3267, 27g17
This variety has a small head, a prow with angled, more narrow stem, and no star on its side. These features are characteristic of other related denominations.
43/3a hybrid.var. Luceria L Triens. Roman mint. oooo / L / Minerva small head; ROMA / prow, star, bulbous stem / oooo. AM#1036-20, 20g41
The reverse is as the main RRC 43/3a, but now with a small head on obverse as on RRC 43/3a var. thus is a hybrid. Because the bulbous prowstem with star varieties of RRC 43, are on average significantly lighter (20%) than the angled prowstem, no star, varieties (typified by RRC 43/4 Sextans, and by the preceding variety Triens), I presume the bulbous prowstem types to come later. Thus the obverse die on this specimen is likely reused from the preceding angled prowstem, no star Triens.
43/3b Luceria L Triens. Italian civic mint. [oooo] / Minerva / L under chin; ROMA / Prow / oooo. Broad, thin flan. RBW 26g18
The first regular denomination in the 'Italian civic mint'. These are struck on broad thin flans (in contrast to RRC 43/2b and 43/3a), and have a prow design and engraving style whcih are entirely different from RRC 43/2b and 43/3a, which however is shared with the LT series. The mintmark L under the chin is shared with RRC 27/4 and RRC 98A/6. These 'Italian civic mint' issues are all related to the LT coinage.
43/3c Luceria L Triens. Italian civic mint. [oooo] / L behind / Minerva; ROMA / Prow / L / oooo. Broad, thin flan. RR ex AM#0973-27, 27g37
A very rare variety with L behind the head and before the prow, known only from the Hannover 543 example and this coin.
43/4 Luceria L Sextans. Roman mint. oo / Mercury; ROMA / Prow, narrow angled stem / oLo. AM#0651-14, 26mm 14g17
The fabric, thick flans and style of this coin relate it to the 'Roman mint' group. The prow differs in shape from the preceding coins but its angled, narrow stem, heavy weight, and lacking the star on its side, is related to the RRC 43/3a first variety above, to the later RRC 97/5b (with identical reverse design elements to the RRC 43/3a var. Triens), to the 'five mariner' RRC 43/5 Uncia variety described below, and to the RRC 43/6 Semuncia with the same prow as this RRC 43/4 Sextans.
43/5 Luceria L Uncia. Roman mint. o / Roma; ROMA / Prow, bulbous stem / Lo. RR 7g85
The main RRC 43/5 Uncia type. Bulbous prowstem, star on the flank of the prow.
43/5 var. Luceria L Uncia. Roman mint. o / Roma; ROMA / Prow, narrow angled stem, 5 mariners on deck / o no mintmark. AM#1134-60, 5g97
The 'five mariner' variety: note two mariners at the left of the deck, two on the fighting platform left and one on the fighting platform right. Based on the prow design this is associated with the RRC 43/4 Sextans and with the main RRC 43/6 Semuncia type. The particular die also lacks the mintmark, which is to be seen on other examples of the five mariner types. This variety (with or without mintmark) is rarer and on average heavier than the main RRC 43/5 type.
43/6 Luceria L Semuncia. Roman mint. Mercury; ROMA / Prow, narrow angled stem / L, in circle. BNF Paris Armand-Valton 645, 3g92
The main RRC 43/6 Semuncia type, related to the RRC 43/4 Sextans.
43/6 var. Luceria L Semuncia. Roman mint. Mercury; ROMA / Prow, narrow angled stem, no mintmark, in circle. RR 3g67
As the main type, but lacking a mintmark.
43/6 var. Luceria L Semuncia. Roman mint. Mercury; ROMA / Prow, bulbous stem / L, no circle. RBW 3g25
The bulbous prowstem type, which also lacks a die circle on the reverse. This is a scarcer variety.
43/6 var. Luceria L Semuncia. Roman mint. Mercury; ROMA / Prow, narrow vertical stem / L, in circle. RBW 2g64
The vertical narrow prowstem variety, of small diameter types and on a light flan. This is to be associated with other issues with narrow vertical prowstems, described in RRC 97.
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