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Pscipio
Jun 20, 2006, 02:18 PM
Let me get this empty section a bit alive! With topics like this, I hope to illustrate that provincial coins are not boring at all; in fact, there's still much to study.

Elagabal AE24, 218-222 AD, Alexandria Troas.
Obv: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, seen from rear.
Rev: COL ALEXA AVG, Marsyas on pedestal right, raising right, holding wine-skin over his shoulder with left.
Ĝ 22-24 mm, 7.28 g
Bellinger -, Hunter -, Leypold -, Lindgren -, SNG Aul. -, SNG Cop. -, SNG München -, SNG Tüb. -

This reverse, while well known for other emperors, appears to be unpublished for Elagabal. Bellinger, in his article "The Late Bronze of Alexandria Troas", ANS Museum Notes VIII, New York 1958, assings three coins of this reverse type (no. 58) to Elagabal, but that is an error. As we know from many other provincial coins, differentiating between Elagabal and Caracalla (when he was young) can be very difficult, but in the case of Alexandria Troas, we do have one advantage: during Caracalla's visit in 214 AD, the city changed the legends on its coins from COL AVG TROAD (or similar) to COL ALEX AVG (or similar). All coins with young portrait and reverse legend COL ALEX AVG thus can be assinged to Elagabalus, as coins from Caracalla that were struck after 214 AD do have a mature and bearded portrait. Bellinger noticed this when he worked on his Troy book and thus corrected the error he made in his article in the ANS MS, when he had three Caracalla coins attributed to Elagabal in error.

This coin with ANTONINVS PIVS AVG / young portrait on the obverse and with COL ALEXA AVG / Marsyas on the reverse must have been struck after 214 AD and it thus certainly belongs to Elagabal.

I have noticed two obverse die matches so far, one from the Patricia Lawrence collection (2nd pic, Bellinger A317 var.) and one from Coinarchives (3rd pic, Bellinger A315).

Lars