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NOTICES OF RECENT NUMISMATIC PUBLICATIONS.
The Revue Numismatique, after an interval of three years, has again made its appearance. Part I., 1874, contains the following articles :—
1. Jacques de Rougé." On the Coins of the Nomes of Egypt."
2. Adr. de Longpérier." On an unpublished Denier of King Raoul, A.D. 923-936.”
3. L. Deschamps de Pas.-"Essay on the Monetary History of the Counts of Flanders, of the House of Austria, and Classification of their Coins" (5th article).
In the Chronique is a review, by M. Adr. de Longpérier, of Mr. Percy Gardner's article on coins with the inscription TPIH (NUMISMATIC CHRONICLE, Vol. XI., p. 162), in which he differs from some of Mr. Gardner's conclusions on the score of the weights of certain coins with the above inscription, which do not appear to him to correspond with what he supposes to have been their normal weights. M. de Longpérier seems, however, to ignore the fact that the Corinthian divisions are throughout about one-third less than the Attic: thus the silver stater, which at Athens was equal to 2 drachms, was by the Corinthians divided into 3, the Attic drachm weighing 67.5 grs., while the Corinthian is only 45 grs. The Corinthian drachm, or third part of the stater, although thus the equivalent of the Attic tetrobol, was nevertheless divided, like the Attic drachm, into 6 obols: hence the Corinthian obol would only weigh 7.5 grs., being the 18th part of the stater of 135 grs., while the Attic obol, being the 12th part of the same stater, is 11.25 grs., and consequently equivalent to a Corinthian trihemiobol. Mr. Gardner has weighed eight specimens of coins reading TPIH, the heaviest of which is 11.2 grs., the average weight being about 9.8 grs., a result which in our opinion tends to confirm Mr. Gardner's opinion, that TPIH stands for Trihemiobol. We cannot therefore agree with M. de Longpérier, who finds an obstacle in these weights to the acceptation of Mr. Gardner's explanation.
M. de Longpérier also contributes a short notice of a didrachm of Cyrene, with the reverse inscription ΔΑΜΩΚΥΡΑΣ, which he explains as an epithet of the god Hermes, copsidered as the protector of the people of Cyrene, the word
ΔΑΜΩΚΥΡΑΝΑ on a bronze coin at Turin, accompanying the head of Artemis, being the feminine form of the same word. The Part concludes with the history of the acquisition of the De Sauley collection of Gaulish coins by the French Government for £8,000. France is to be congratulated on this important addition to the national coin-cabinet, which was effected by the combined action of no less than sixty-eight provincial societies, who united in petitioning the Government to purchase the coins in question. When will such an expression of enlightened public opinion be forthcoming in our own country for any similar purpose ? We fear the time is still far distant when England will be able to enumerate sixty-eight societies in the provinces alone, who will interest themselves in the preservation of our national antiquities.
Part II., 1874, contains the following articles :
1. Adr. de Longpérier." Pelops and Hippodameia on Medallion of Smyrna, of Antoninus Pius."
2. F. de Sauley.- -"Note on some unpublished Coins of Ascalon, with the Portraits of Ptolemy Auletes, Cleopatra, and Ptolemy Dionysus.
3. Adr. de Longpérier." Coins of Characene: King Obadas." This king was contemporary with Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. Up to the present time he is the last of the kings of Characene who is known to have used the Greek language on his coins.
4. Adr. de Longpérier." Alphonso of Portugal, Count of Boulogne." The denier of this prince, engraved by M. de Longpérier, is a servile imitation of those of Henry II. of England (1st coinage), and was probably struck at Boulogne and not in Portugal.
5. L. Deschamps de Pas.-" Essay on the Monetary History of the Counts of Flanders, of the House of Austria, and Classification of their Coins" (6th article).
In the Chronique is a note by M. Chabouillet, relative to the Trésor d'Auriol, in which he chronicles the discovery of a number of similar coins at Volterra. This find renders it highly improbable that all the various types comprised in the Auriol Find are to be attributed to the ancient Phocæan city of Marseilles.
M. de Longpérier notices coins of Mantineia in Arcadia, and of Ichnæ in Macedonia, the latter of which, now in the British Museum, forms the subject of an article by M. Bompois in the present number of the NUMISMATIC CHRONICLE.
M. de Longpérier also draws our attention to an important
discovery lately made by M. J. von Kolb, in a work called "Enträthselte Siglen auf Münzen Diocletians and Maximians," Wien, 1874, in which he has solved the enigma contained in the mysterious letters occurring on the reverses of certain coins of Diocletian and Maximian, which have long been a puzzle to Numismatists. Together with the numerals A. B., which refer to the various officina, and the mark XXI, which is the index of value, these coins furnish other letters in the exergue. These are, on the coins of Diocletian, I, O, and BI; and on those of Maximian, HP, KOY, and Al. These letters, occurring upon different coins, when united, form the words IOBI and HPKOYAI, clearly Greek transcriptions of IOVI and HERCVLI, epithets respectively of Diocletian and Maximian. These coins were minted at Siscia or Serdica. Some of those struck at Rome have the symbols of the thunderbolt, or the club, which are supposed to represent the same two surnames-Jovius and Herculius.
The part concludes with notices of various medieval coins.
Our friends across the Channel are just now displaying an activity in Numismatics which redounds much to their credit, and which we would commend to our own countrymen, and especially to the members of the Numismatic Society. MM. de Sauley, Barthélemy, and Hucher, finding the old Revue Numismatique insufficient for their assiduity, have resolved upon starting a new numismatic periodical, under the title of Mélanges de Numismatique, of which the first number appeared in July last. It contains the following articles :
1. E. Hucher." Review of Gaulish Numismatics."
2. E. Hucher.-" Examination in detail of the Trésor d'Auriol." This is a valuable catalogue of the various types represented upon these interesting little coins, accompanied by seventy-two engravings on wood, showing all the principal varieties, and bringing clearly before our eyes the fact that these pieces represent the currency of an extensive monetary league, similar to that of Phocæa and Cyzicus. The majority of the types which occur on the Auriol coins are borrowed from towns on the coast of Asia Minor, and there we may perhaps seek the head-quarters of the League, of which Marseilles was doubtless an important member. This League, judging from the types which have come to light, must have included Lesbos, Cyzicus, Clazomenæ, and other towns.
3. F. de Sauley." On some ancient Countermarks. Countermarked Coins of the Seleucida."
4. E. Hucher." Note on a Marriage Piece in the Museum of Rouen."
The part concludes with a description of some Gaulish coins found at Vernon.
The Revue de la Numismatique Belge, 5me Série, Tome VI., 3me livraison, contains the following articles :
1. Hooft van Iddekinge." Numismatic Studies."
2. D. Chestret de Haneffe.-"Notes on the History and Numismatics of Gronsveld."
3. Roest." Inedited Coins of Gueldres.
In the Correspondance are letters from the Baron de Witte, M. Schuermans, and others, to M. R. Chalon.
The Mélanges contains notices of all the recent numismatie publications.
Catalogue of the Roman Medallions in the British Museum,
by Herbert A. Grueber, edited by Reginald Stuart Poole. London, 1874. 8vo. Longmans.
The additions which have of late years been made to the series of Roman medallions in the British Museum, by the acquisition of some of the finest specimens from the Blacas, Wigan, and Tyskiewicz cabinets, have resulted in the formation of a collection of those interesting works of art which we believe will shortly take its place as the first in Europe. This is, however, a point upon which we can only give our opinion upon hearsay evidence, as the keepers of the Paris and Berlin cabinets have not as yet published official catalogues of the treasures under their charge. We are glad to be able to say that the authorities of our own Museum have, within the last few years, taken the initiative in this respect, and are evincing a praiseworthy activity in the preparation and publication of coin catalogues which we trust will before long be emulated by the learned conservateurs of the museums of France and Ger
A German writer has justly remarked, concerning the right of private individuals to the sole possession of art treasures, "Die Werke der Kunst gehören nicht der Einzelnen, sie gehören der gebildeten Menschheit an;" "' and this is no less true of the contents of national museums, for it is distinctly the duty of the Government to provide means for the publication, from time to time, of complete catalogues of the various works of art preserved for the public instruction; and the keepers of all such collections should be held responsible, not only for their safe preservation from injury or loss, but for the com
1 Heeren, Ideen über Politik, etc., der vornehmsten Völker des Alterthums, Theil, 8, Abtheilung, 1.
pilation and editing of full and comprehensive accounts and descriptions calculated to be of service to students, who have not the leisure or the opportunity of consulting the monuments themselves.
Such a work is the one now before us, and great praise is due to the zeal and enterprise of Mr. Poole, under whose able direction it has been compiled by Mr. Herbert Grueber.
The volume contains detailed descriptions of all the Roman medallions in the Museum cabinets, arranged in strict chronological order from the reign of Domitian to that of Priscus Attalus, a period of more than three hundred years. These descriptions are throughout minutely accurate, and sometimes almost too lengthy, rendering it occasionally somewhat difficult for the reader to seize at a glance the subject of a medallion without referring to the plates. This, however, will not be considered a disadvantage by the real student of archæology, who will find all the minutiae of the dress, both of the emperors upon the obverses and of the figures upon the reverses, as well as all the accessory details, chronicled with the utmost care and attention.
The value of Roman medallions to the artist, as well as to the archæologist, is infinitely greater than that of the large brass coins of the period. In fact, with the single exception of the reliefs on the column of Trajan, they give a better idea of Roman art than any other monuments with which we are acquainted.
A glance at the index of types will show how important they are as records of events, both historical and legendary. Victories over the barbarians of Germany, of Armenia and Parthia, and of Britain, are chronicled on medallions of Domitian, Verus, and Commodus respectively. The return of the corn fleet from Alexandria, in the reign of Commodus, and the cessation of the plague in Rome, under Antoninus Pius, may be taken as examples, among many others, of domestic events; while the contest of Minerva and Neptune for the soil of Attica, and the building of Troy, may be mentioned among the legendary or mythological subjects represented.
Iconographically again, medallions stand far in advance of coins, the portraits being more faithful, inasmuch as they are more careful works of art, if they are not by superior artists, which is probable. But even granting them to be by the engravers ordinarily employed in the mint, their larger size and bolder relief would naturally give a wider scope to the hand and the imagination of the artist.
This catalogue is provided with copious indexes and tables,