« AnteriorContinuar »
been taken by M. Cadalvene and others for that of Zeus, is, as pointed out by Mr. Birch, certainly that of Asklepios.
It is to be regretted that no representation of the coins of Aigialê bearing this peculiar symbol was given either by the last-named gentleman or Mr. Borrell, K. Lampros, in the little work whose title stands at the head of this paper, has given representations of nine, one of which is copied at the head of this paper; also one of Atrax, a city of Thessaly; five of Epidaurus, two of them belonging to the Achæan League; all having the symbol in question; also a remarkable tetradrachm of Alexander the Great, from the collection of M. Prokesch-Osten, which bears the ouúa as an adjunct in the field.
LONDON, April, 1873.
T. J. ARNOLD.
VOL. XIII. N.S.
ON A COIN OF ANTONINUS PIUS.
M. COHEN describes a first brass coin of Antoninus Pius thus:
827. Obv.-ANTONINVS AVG. PIVS P. P. IMP. II. La tête laurée à droite.
Rev.-SECVND. DECEM ANNALES COS. IIII. S. C. dans une couronne de chêne.
With reference to the date and significance of this coin I propose to make a few observations.
Before doing so, however, it may be as well to say something briefly on the subject of the Decennial Vows, with the object of making the matter intelligible to those who have not made Roman coins a special study; and this, it may be trusted, will be excused by those who are more conversant with the subject.
Decennial vows-Vota decennalia-were instituted, it appears, at the commencement of the Empire. In v.c. 727 (B.c. 27), when Octavius Cæsar first took the name of Augustus, among the various devices by which he sought to blind the Roman people and induce them to believe he had no wish for monarchical power, was his acceptance of the government of certain provinces for the limited period of ten years. The year before this term was completed, v.c. 736 (B.c. 18), he again accepted an imperium for five years; and that period having expired, for another five
years. Then, in v.c. 746 (B.c. 8), he accepted a decennial imperium for the third time; in v.c. 756 (A.D. 3) for the fourth time; and in v.c. 766 (A.D. 13) for the fifth and last time, as in the next year he was deified.
This decennial ceremony, which was in fact but a form in the time of the first Emperor, was kept up as the mere shadow of a form by his successors. There was no longer any pretence for a limited acceptance of empire, but under each reign decennial festivals were celebrated at which vows were made (vota suscepta) for the welfare of the Emperor; at the expiration of this term these vows were considered to have been kept (soluta), and fresh ones were made for another period of ten years.
The first mention of these Decennalia on coins occurs in the reign of Antoninus Pius; they recur at intervals on those of succeeding Emperors; and in the Lower Empire take the common but somewhat puzzling form of VOTIS X MVLTIS XX and the like.1
Those who wish to go more fully into this matter should consult Eckhel, Doctr. Vet. Num., vol. viii. Obs. Gen. cap. xiv. De numis Votorum.
It is rather
To return to the coin under consideration. curious that it is not referred to by Eckhel in his enumeration of the coins of Antoninus; though he mentions others that speak of the Decennalia; and this omission is the more remarkable as the coin is described by previous Numismatists; notably by Spanheim, De Præst. et Us. Numism. Ed. 4to., 1671, p. 875.
M. Cohen attributes the coin with a (?) to the year v.c. 910 (A.D. 157), and adds in a note that as the first decennial
The word multis is understood to imply a prayer for the long life of the Emperor.
vows were dated in the 10th tribunitial power of Antoninus which answers to v.c. 900 (A.D. 147), he supposes that the second would be made ten years afterwards, and therefore in the year he has given.
But he is in error as to the year of the first Decennalia, which took place in the 11th tribunitial power of Antoninus, as indeed M. Cohen shows himself in No. 752, which he thus describes :
Obv.-ANTONINVS AVG. PIVS P. P. TR. P. XI. Sa tête ou son buste lauré à droite.
Rev. PRIMI DECENNALES COS. IIII. S. C. dans une couronne de chêne (901; de J. C., 148). See also Eck., vii. 18.
The first Decennalia would therefore be soluta, and the second suscepta in that year (A.D. 148); and the second would be soluta v.c. 911, A.D. 158, answering to the Trib. Pot. xxi. of Antoninus.
There is, however, no coin extant showing the solution of the second Vota Decennalia in the latter year; Eckhel indeed says,
"Ex præscripto primi decennii vota . . . nuncupanda fuere in ejus trib. potestate xxi., et revera Norisius commemorat numum cum hoc tribunatu, cui soluta hæc vota testatur esse inscripta, sed quem alibi laudatum non reperio." vii. p. 25.
Eckhel gives, however, two coins in the following year, the 22nd of the Trib. Pot. of Antoninus; which are also given by M. Cohen, whose description, for the sake of uniformity, may as well be adopted:
977. Obv.-ANTONINVS AVG. PIVS P. P. TR. P. XXII. Sa tête laurée à droite.
Rev.-Même revers (que 975 sc.) VOTA SOL. DEC. II. COS. IIII. S. C. (VOTA SOLuta DECennalia II.) Antonin de bout à gauche, tenant une patère, audessus d'un trépied allumé et un livre; à terre une victime.
984. (Same Obv.)
Rev. VOTA SVSCEP. DECENN. III. COS. IIII (VOTA SVSCEPta DECENNalia III., &c.)-(with a similar type.)
And a coin with similar legends and types as the last mentioned is given in the following year. (Eck, vii. 26; Coh., 982, 3.)
The type of the Emperor sacrificing appears to be that which was always afterwards adopted in coins commemorating the Decennial vows till we come to those of the Lower Empire.
The question now to be considered is whether the coin, with the legend SECVND. DECEM ANNALES, was struck, as M. Cohen considers, at the conclusion of the second Decennalia, so as to signify Secunda Decennalia Soluta. I would venture to suggest that it was not; but that it was issued in the same year with that bearing the legend Primi Decennales, which certainly means Prima Decennalia Soluta; and that its meaning is Secunda Decennalia SUSCEPTA; and for these reasons:
1. The type the mere legend inclosed in an oakwreath-is the same as that of the Primi Decennales.
2. The legend-Decem Annales-is evidently more primitive than that of Vota Decennalia, which is adopted in all later coins, and—
3. It seems highly improbable that a coin with these types and legends would have been issued in the same year with those bearing the type of the Emperor sacrificing and the legends Vota Soluta Decennalia Secunda and Vota Suscepta Decennalia Tertia.
The coin therefore was most probably struck in the eleventh tribunitial power of Antoninus, v.c. 901. a.d. 148. T. J. ARNOLD.
LONDON, Feb., 1873.