Author Topic: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons...sceptres vs. spears  (Read 668 times)

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Offline Victor

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Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons...sceptres vs. spears
« on: March 14, 2017, 09:38:15 AM »
This coin is not in RIC VI, but is in Bastien supplement I, listed as #226b.


Galerius
A.D. 301- 303           
28mm    8.4gm
MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES; laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right with spear over left shoulder.                 
GENIO POP-VLI ROMANI; Genius standing left by altar, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, right holding patera, B in right field.
In ex. PLG
RIC VI Lyons –

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 10:48:49 AM »
Hi Victor,

what about LUGDUNUM 134 (bust type G)? I am not convinced that Galerius is holding spear. It could be a sceptre as well. Additionally, coin is in poor condition and probably was slightly tooled.

I am aware that the description of the bust type G says "sceptre over right shoulder" and here we have left shoulder and (possibly) spear. But Sutherland has not personally examined coins with bust type G (LUGDUNUM 133 and 134). He took the description from Voetter and stressed in footnotes that confirmation is needed.

In my opinion it is not a completely new variety but rather the confirmation of an already known type, which was inaccurately described.

Offline Victor

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2017, 11:11:40 AM »
Yes, it could be confirmation of a misdescribed type. The supplement actually says 226b has a sceptre (bust F2), but I generally use the term spear (which is probably confusing). Bastien also refers to the object over the shoulder as being either "sceptre ou une haste"...an haste is a javelin, for another bust type (F6). Sometimes the object has a spearpoint, sometimes not, but perhaps it is meant to represent the same thing... a weapon. As far as tooling, I doubt it as the obverse still has much of the original silvering.

I have attached the bust type from Bastien for F6 (sceptre ou une haste) which I believe are probably the same object (spear) just differently engraved.

Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2017, 03:23:35 PM »
It could also be a plumbata turned once with "spearpoint" end up, once with "rounded" end up, like on this Probus bust. (the device held on Bastien F6 bust seem to be very short for a haste)

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Offline Victor

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2017, 03:37:23 PM »
It could also be a plumbata turned once with "spearpoint" end up, once with "rounded" end up

That could very likely be what is being portrayed. I really don't believe it is a sceptre, though.

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2017, 08:11:15 PM »
It could also be a plumbata

There was an interesting discussion about plumbatae on TPZN forum

http://forum.tpzn.pl/index.php/topic,10308.0.html

(unfortunately in Polish, but with many pictures  :) )

At the end, nearly all participants agreed that these "arrows" are not plumbatae but short spears called minor subarmalis and used by very skillful lanciarii. Kind of elite soldiers - which explains why rulers wanted to be portrayed with this weapon.

Plumbatae are shorter and looks different because of their lead parts: not like arrows but rather like a bigger darts.

Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 03:26:33 AM »
Thank you, Lech, for the link, Google translate will help too.
I will read with interest as I was wondering why the so called plumbatae represented on coins look so different from the known object.



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Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 09:13:28 AM »
Great ! I have learnt something(s) too.  :D
Very convincing evidence.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 09:23:37 AM by Genio popvli romani »
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Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2017, 11:25:53 AM »
I have learnt something(s) too.  :D

Glad! And I am impressed because I know how horrible is Google Translator when translating from/to Polish. I even don't understand my own words after translation  :)

Back to the topic. I am not so radical as Victor in his exclusion of sceptre. I believe that sometimes Caesar is really holding a sceptre (both tips rounded) because it shows that he is not only a warrior (with spear) but also a commander - with attribute of his power.

Offline Victor

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons...sceptres vs. spears
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 11:41:42 AM »
I am very sceptical of bust types (which are otherwise identical) differentiated by a spear sometimes or a sceptre other times. I believe these are likely engraving differences, but meant to depict the same thing. For instance, most VLPP's have a clear spear, but some have rounded ends- are these sceptres, or reversed spears, or perhaps just poorly engraved.

Below is a VLPP from Siscia and London with an object that has a clearly rounded end...scepter or spear?


Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2017, 03:07:24 PM »
Off topic about translation.

Glad! And I am impressed because I know how horrible is Google Translator when translating from/to Polish. I even don't understand my own words after translation  :)


I am using a complementary translation module on firefox whish is based on Google translator and in my opinion, it works pretty well. But as I don't understand a single word of Polish, I may be wrong.  :o
So, I have attached the first message of the TPZN topic below...

About our topic, I think that we have also to keep in mind that sometimes, the scalptores didn't care about scale ratio (available surface and probable understanding should have prevailed). So, the size of an item should not be considered alone.

P.S. Note that Bastien has described #226 as "holding septre" (F*2)and the coin illustrated (same die?) shows two rounded tips.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 03:23:56 PM by Genio popvli romani »
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Offline Victor

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2017, 03:20:20 PM »
About our topic, I think that we have also to keep in mind that sometimes, the scalptores didn't care about scale ratio

Yes, it is important to remember that. A good example of that is the busts with horses, where the head of the horse is much smaller in respect to the emperor.


Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons...sceptres vs. spears
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2017, 04:40:52 PM »
or perhaps just poorly engraved.

Well, I think that it is not difficult to engrave something which undoubtedly looks like a spear, with arrow-like, sharp tip. On the contrary, it is quite hard to engrave a spear which does not look like a spear and resembles (why?) sceptre :)

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons...sceptres vs. spears
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2017, 05:05:01 PM »
So, I have attached the first message of the TPZN topic below...

This translation is surprisingly good. The translator even correctly recognized sex of Sylviane Estiot from grammatical form (in Polish there is no need to add "she").

What is the name of this add-on to Firefox?

the scalptores didn't care about scale ratio

Yes, you are right. The size could not be a clinching argument. However, plumbatae are not only smaller (which makes them easier to engrave on small flan), but also have a characteristic shape.

Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: Galerius GENIO POPVLI from Lyons...sceptres vs. spears
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2017, 05:24:05 PM »
Here is the translation module : https://addons.mozilla.org/pl/firefox/addon/imtranslator/
Also exists for Chrome.

Note that as based on google translator, best results are obtained from a language to English and of course it is far from perfect but most of the time enough to understand the general meaning based on a correctly written original text.
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