Author Topic: GLORIA EXERCITVS from Arles with bull on banner  (Read 1871 times)

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Offline Victor

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GLORIA EXERCITVS from Arles with bull on banner
« on: April 15, 2015, 09:48:51 AM »
I have seen a few GLORIA EXERCITVS coins from Arles described as having a bull on the top of the standards. On her excel lists for this type, Dane even says this-- “The horned bulls' heads on the banners could refer to Legio VIII Avgvsta (whose emblem was a bull), stationed near Arles at this time.”

There is not a bull, or bull's horns, on the standard. It is a ring, just a plain ring at the top. Below are two coins of this type. The first one is not completely clear and maybe there is some room for interpretation, hence the confusion; but the second picture clearly shows the rings and nothing but the rings. In the first picture, the rings even look thinner at the top and thicker at the bottom, which is similar to horns, except the rings join together or pass through what looks like a globe.

In 2008, I posted in a topic on Ancients.Info about this, but it seems eveyone wanted to believe in bulls...head  ;D

http://www.ancients.info/forums/showthread.php?t=1727&highlight=arles+bull

Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: GLORIA EXERCITVS from Arles with bull on banner
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 03:54:02 PM »
Interesting point of view. I had never heard about the bull theory but I remember that I had some questions about the particular shape of the top of the standards.
I had described this detail on the coin attached (Arles 378) as follow : "two soldiers holding spears and shields with two Victory-tipped standards between them, a wreath held by the Victories between them."
After a discussion we had on nummus-bible, I agree that they should be simply considered as vexilla or signa.

« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 04:02:34 PM by Genio popvli romani »
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Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: GLORIA EXERCITVS from Arles with bull on banner
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2015, 04:26:02 PM »
After checking the Arles 370's serie in the nummus-bible-database, I believe that this particular shape, when visible, is linkable to a crescent. A few representative specimens below (all coming from http://www.nummus-bible-database.com/).







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Offline Victor

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Re: GLORIA EXERCITVS from Arles with bull on banner
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2015, 04:42:53 PM »
I believe that this particular shape, when visible, is linkable to a crescent.

Below is a picture with several drawings of standards and a coin from Cyzicus that I just saw on eBay and thought was nice for a comparison

The circular objects on the standards are Phalera, which are sculpted discs which were awarded for various military exploits. The third picture below shows some recreated standards.