The Roman Empire

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About this journal

After decades on numismatic hiatus, I have re-kindled my childhood passion for collecting coins.  The resulting odyssey has been both unexpected and fascinating.  My newfound obsession is collecting ancient coinage.

 

I focused initially on ancient Greece, and examples can be found in my NGC Ancients Custom Set entitled "The Ancient World Collection." While I highly admire ancient Greek coinage for historical importance and artistic splendor, I found myself inexorably drawn to its successor. For the next two millennia, Rome and the autocracies she spawned (the Roman Empire, followed by the Byzantine Empire) dominated the Mediterranean-centric world, leaving behind a plethora of coinage for modern-day contemplation.  Thus, I began compiling a new NGC Ancient Custom Set, which I named "The Roman Empire."

 

Admittedly, some ancient coin collectors eschew the concept of slabbing their coins.  For myself, I appreciate the confirmation of attribution and condition, not to mention air-tight security.  I also enjoy the concept of a custom set, whose contents I control.  Above all, coin collecting should be fun and informative, and these aspects came together in a special way for me in this collection.  Rome's history seemingly demanded that I research each coin and provide a synopsis in its Owner's Comments section.  In more than a few instances, I used the opportunity to explore synergies with other personal interests, whether historical, geographical, scientific, etc.

 

Within its inaugural year (2014) the collection grew to over 100 specimens and was noted "Best Ancient Set," and within the last four years the set has grown to over 200 specimens.  In 2017, I was pleased to earn the honor of "Best Ancient Set" for a second time.  Given the effort I have invested into this set, and the recognition it has received, I decided to I launch this journal which, like my acquisition, research and Owner's Comments for each new coin, is subject to serendipity.

Entries in this journal

 

Update to Roman Empire, Page 6, Crisis II, New Owner's Comments posted for Aquila Severa denarius

I just posted a new "Owners Comments" on Page 6 (Crisis) of my NGC ancients custom set "The Roman Empire."   This new essay is for a denarius featuring Auqila Severa.   My opening thesis is that Severa's reign was one of the most unusual among all Roman Empresses.  This statement is largely based on the belief that she was a vestal virgin, and thus sworn to 30 years of celibacy (and not allowed to marry).  Even though all the ancient histories mention she was a vestal virgin,

Kohaku

Kohaku

03/20/2018

 

Building a collection worthy of the Roman Empire

A daunting task for sure, yet one that has provided enormous fascination and personal satisfaction thus far – to discover the Roman Empire through numismatics.  That is my stated goal for my NGC Ancient Custom Set entitled “The Roman Empire.”  Initially, I contemplated constructing a typical set of “Emperors” coinage.  While such an effort is certainly worthy, I quickly discovered that Rome’s history, from the Republic to the Roman Empire to the Byzantine Empire, holds far more interest.  On the

Kohaku

Kohaku

07/15/2017

Last Reply:
07/17/2017

 

Roman Empire, Page 3 = SUCCESSION

This new “Journal Entry” provides an update on the third Page of my NGC Ancient Custom Set entitled “The Roman Empire.”   This Page is 80% complete (12 coins out of 15 slots).  For one of the those 12 coins, I still have not completed my “Owner’s Comments.”   Here is a link to the Collection…   https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/CoinCustomSetGallery.aspx?s=16365   Here is the synopsis for the Page, entitled "SUCCESSION”…   Julio-Claudia

Kohaku

Kohaku

09/03/2017

Last Reply:
11/28/2017

 

Roman Empire, Page 1 = PRELUDE

I am creating a "Journal Entry" for page "Page" (grouping of 15 coins) in the Gallery view for my Roman Empire Custom Set.   To that end, this journal entry is for the first Page in the collection, which I have entitled "Prelude," with the goal to  provide a good introduction to the geography, peoples, political climate, etc. that existed just prior to Rome converting from Republic to Empire.  Here is the synopsis...   Prelude. The saga begins with coins from mid 2nd to 1st c

Kohaku

Kohaku

08/16/2017

Last Reply:
08/24/2017

 

Roman Empire, Page 6 = GOLDEN AGE I

Don't let me hear you say life's taking you nowhere, angel…Run for the shadows in these golden years…I'll stick with you baby for a thousand years…Nothing's gonna touch you in these golden years…- David Bowe   This new “Journal Entry” provides an update on the 6th Page of my NGC Ancient Custom Set entitled “Golden Age I”.  While the Roman Empire’s golden age failed to last a thousand years, it endured long enough to merit more than one Page herein, hence the Roman numeral included

Kohaku

Kohaku

10/15/2017

Last Reply:
10/21/2017

 

My Latest Submission - the Results are In!

I finally received grading results for the my last submission of coins to NGC.   Drum roll, please .. . .  .  .   .   .   .   NGC Ancients cert # 4282892-001. Here is a link to the cert... https://www.ngccoin.com/certlookup/4282892-001/NGCAncients/ This coin is a nummus struck by Odoacer, King of Italy from 476 to 493 AD. This coin graded Ch XF, and I was extremely satisfied (dare I say surprised on the upside) with the grade. The strike and surface both earned

Kohaku

Kohaku

07/06/2018

Last Reply:
07/08/2018

 

Update on The Roman Empire, Page 4 = SUCCESSION

The latest update to this page is that I finally finished up and posted my Owner's Comments regarding my ancient bronze "half unit" struck by Herod Antipas.   As is the case with many ancient rulers, Antipas' legacy is quite complex and open to interpretation, even to the extremes of villain or victim.   If anyone is interest in learning more, I encourage you to check out my Owners Comments. I have only two more coins to procure (Nero Claudius Drusus and Tiberius) and one more Owner's

Kohaku

Kohaku

12/20/2017

Last Reply:
12/24/2017

 

Roman Empire, Page 4 = DECADENCE

This new “Journal Entry” provides an update on the 4th Page of my NGC Ancient Custom Set entitled “The Roman Empire.” This Page is 100% complete (15 coins out of 15 slots), although three of my “Owner’s Comments” are pending.  I will update this journal entry as I complete those essays.   Here is a link to the Collection… https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/CoinCustomSetGallery.aspx?s=16365   Here is the synopsis for the Page, entitled "DECADENCE”…

Kohaku

Kohaku

09/20/2017

Last Reply:
11/30/2017

 

Latest round of Grading: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I just received my coins from my latest round of NGS ancient grading. These were received at NGC on March 5th, so the turnaround was slower than usual, I guess NGC is pretty busy?   In any case, here are the results...   4282124-001 Cornelia Supera bronze graded VF, Strike 5/5, Surface 3/5 This one came out as I expected, and I am looking forward to writing my comments on this one, especially how the Romans worshipped Cybele.   4282124-002 Marcia

Kohaku

Kohaku

04/28/2018

Last Reply:
06/02/2018

 

NGC Registry Awards

I wanted to send out a particular congratulations to rmw, jackson64, and gherrmann44 for distinction on their excellent Collectors' Journals!   Regarding this Journal Entry, I am pleased to see my own Roman Empire collection receive a second-time Best Ancients Set (my previous accolade was in 2014, so this ends a bit of a "dry spell" for me!).  I wonder about what it would take to be acknowledged as Most Informative or Most Creative NGC Custom Set, and I always find myself amazed when

Kohaku

Kohaku

01/06/2018

Last Reply:
01/13/2018

 

Roman Empire, Page 9 = CRISIS II

This new "Journal Entry" provides an update on the 9th Page of my NGC Ancient Custom Set entitles "The Roman Empire". This Page is 82% complete (12 coins out of 15 slots).  Two of the twelve coins are pending my detailed Owner’s Comments. Here is a link to the Collection… https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/CoinCustomSetGallery.aspx?s=16365 Here is the synopsis for the Page, entitled "CRISIS II”… The Crisis of the Third Century intensifies as numerous Augusti

Kohaku

Kohaku

11/24/2017

Last Reply:
12/20/2017

 

Roman Empire, Page 5 = PERSEVERANCE

This new “Journal Entry” provides an update on the 5th Page of my NGC Ancient Custom Set entitled “The Roman Empire.” This Page is 67% complete (10 coins out of 15 slots), and for one of those 10 coins my “Owner’s Comments” are pending. Here is a link to the Collection… https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/CoinCustomSetGallery.aspx?s=16365 Here is the synopsis for the Page, entitled "PERSEVERANCE": The Empire weathers a civil war culminating in the rise of Emperor Ves

Kohaku

Kohaku

10/01/2017

Last Reply:
10/03/2017

 

New Owner's Comment, The Roman Empire, Page 4 "Decadence" = 3-Sisters Caligula Sestertius

I just added my latest Owner's Comments, in this case, the subject was my "3-sisters Caligula sestertius".  In particular, I used this slot within the Roman Empire to represent Julia Drusilla, widely described as Caligula's favorite sister.   There was a lot of interesting material to draw from for this essay, even if the ancient histories are rife with negative bias against Caligula.   As a teaser, I will paste here the first paragraph of my Owner's Comments...   This ancien

Kohaku

Kohaku

04/09/2018

Last Reply:
04/11/2018

 

Roman Empire, Page 2 = GENESIS

This new “Journal Entry” provides an update on the second Page of my NGC Ancient Custom Set entitled “The Roman Empire.”  It is satisfying to report that, following the grading results of my Herod The Great ancient bronze, and after finalizing my Owner’s Comments of that coin… Page #2 is now COMPLETE!   Here is a link to the Collection…   https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/CoinCustomSetGallery.aspx?s=16365   Here is the synopsis for the Page, entitled "GEN

Kohaku

Kohaku

08/25/2017

Last Reply:
08/26/2017

 

New Owner's Comments = Matidia, Page 6, GOLDEN AGE I

Another quick update on my NGC Ancients Custom Set "The Roman Empire".   I have posted my Owner's Comments on my ancient bronze representing Matidia.  Since we don't know very much about Matidia, my comments are pretty short for this coin, which may be one of as few as nine remaining.        

Kohaku

Kohaku

01/21/2018

 

New Owner's Comments = Colosseum Opening Denarius, Page 5, PERSEVERANCE

Another update to "The Roman Empire" NGC Ancients Custom Set.   I just posted my latest Owner's Comments for a Titus denarius that was issued for the Colosseum opening.   Please take a look if you are interested in learning more.  I found a lot of fascinating material for this essay.  I used the opportunity to talk about the accomplishments of ancient Roman engineers.  As an engineer myself, I find the these achievements rather remarkable.  As testimony, consider that not onl

Kohaku

Kohaku

01/27/2018

 

Roman Empire, Page 7 = GOLDEN AGE II

This new “Journal Entry” provides an update on the 7th Page of my NGC Ancient Custom Set entitled “The Roman Empire.”   This Page is 80% complete (12 coins out of 15 slots).   Here is a link to the Collection… https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/CoinCustomSetGallery.aspx?s=16365   Here is the synopsis for the Page, entitled "GOLDEN AGE II”… Rome's prosperity continues under the leadership of Antonine dynasts who reigned until late 2nd century AD.

Kohaku

Kohaku

11/16/2017

Last Reply:
11/17/2017

 

Update on Roman Empire collection, Page 10 = Crisis III

This Journal Entry provides an overview/update on Page 10 of my “Roman Empire” NGC Ancients custom (I previously have presented an overview/update on the first nine pages).  Like all the Pages of the collection, this one comprises 15 coins as presented in “Gallery Mode”.  The title for this Page, since it is third Page covering the Crisis of the Third Century is Crisis III.  The purpose of this overview/update is to not just to provide a brief description of each coin, but also some perspective

Kohaku

Kohaku

07/18/2018

Last Reply:
09/05/2018

 

Roman Empire, Page 8 = CRISIS I

This new “Journal Entry” provides an update on the 8th Page of my NGC Ancient Custom Set entitled “The Roman Empire.” This Page is 73% complete (11 coins out of 15 slots). Here is a link to the Collection… https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/CoinCustomSetGallery.aspx?s=16365   Here is the synopsis for the Page, entitled "CRISIS I”…   The Empire heads into turnoil, marked by the tumultuous Year of Five Emperors (193 AD) and the subsequent rise of the

Kohaku

Kohaku

11/19/2017

Last Reply:
11/23/2017

 

New Owner's Comments, Page 7 Golden Age II, Pseudo-autonomous Coinage

Latest update is that I posted my Owner's Comments on an Apollonian bronze, struck during the time of the Antonine dynasty.  Here are comments (for a picture of the obverse and reverse, please see the Roman Empire collection posted on the NGC Ancients, Custom Sets...   Ancient Roman coins denoted as “pseudo-autonomous” are generally defined as issues struck by cities and provinces under the suzerainty of Rome, yet lacking an imperial obverse portrait. Such coins not only bear historica

Kohaku

Kohaku

02/12/2018

 

New Owner's Comments = Plotina, Page 6, GOLDEN AGE I

After a bit of a hiatus, I managed to finish another Owner's Comments (Note: I am trying to keep up, as I try *not* to add any more new coins until I post Comments for all the current ones!) This time, the essay is about my ancient bronze featuring Empress Plotina, wife to Emperor Hadrian.  This coin is part of Page 6 = GOLDEN AGE I. This coin graded as XF, Strike = 4/5, Surface = 4/5, which is a very respectable grade for this issue.  It was struck in Gordus-Julia around 112-117

Kohaku

Kohaku

01/17/2018

 

New Owner's Comments, Roman Empire, Page 10 "Crisis IV", Julius Marinus

I just posted another Owner's Comments for a coin in my NGC Ancients Custom Set "The Roman Empire". This time, the comments are regarding an ancient bronze featuring Julius Marinus, father of Augustus Philip, a.k.a. Philip the Arab.  Philip struck the coin to commemorate his father and advertse his father's apotheois, or transformation into a god.  This coin is very rare, and comes in two reverse types.  This coin features seated (rather than standing) Roma, and she holds two figures.

Kohaku

Kohaku

03/22/2018

 

New Owners Comment's, The Roman Empire, Page 12 "Resurgence", Divus Nigrinian

There was not a lot to talk about for this coin, except that is bears the half-length (some employ the descriptor “heroic”) bust of about Marcus Aurelius Nigrinianus (died circa 284 AD), who was probably the son of Emperor Carinus.   It is interesting to note that a review of electronically available information revealed eleven examples of this coin, comprising what appear to be only three, very similar and high-quality obverse die types (excluding slight variations presumably applied

Kohaku

Kohaku

03/26/2018

 

New Owner's Comments, Page 3 "Succession" = Agrippina Sr

I recently finished and posted to my NGC Ancients Custom Set entitled "The Roman Empire" my Owner's Comments regarding my sestertius featuring Agrippina Sr.  For this essay, I decided to take the opportunity to provide some of my own personal musings regarding "raw" vs. "slabbed" ancient coins.  This topic has obviously garnered much discussion on both extreme viewpoints, so I wanted to provide my own perspective.     Regarding Agrippina, she was quite a impressive woman for her time,

Kohaku

Kohaku

03/18/2018

 

Update on Roman Empire, Page 4 "Decadence" = Caligula bronze

The latest update to the my NGC Ancients Custom Set entitled "The Roman Empire" is that I finished and posted my Owner's Comments for my ancient bronze featuring the notorious Emperor Caligula.     While I don't want to go into the entirety of my comments, I will provide here an intriguing except...   In addition to scandalous accounts still sensationalized in modern media, Caligula left behind a rich and interesting coinage.  This bronze is of particular interest, contempora

Kohaku

Kohaku

05/10/2018

Last Reply:
05/20/2018