Home
Artifacts Menu
- Ancient Egyptian Artifacts
- Ancient Persian Artifacts
- Ancient Roman Byzantine
--- Rings, Pendants, Earrings
--- Roman Bracelets
--- Roman Pottery & Glass
--- Roman Gift Plaques
- Roman Coins
- Celtic, Indo-European
- Phoenician and Judaean
- Parthian and Indian
- Medieval Renaissance
- Ancient China
--- China Large Pottey
--- China Statuettes
--- China Bowls
--- China Small Ceramics
--- China Pendants, Lapel Pins
- WORLD WAR I & II
TIMELESS TREASURE GEMSTONES
Visit our colleagues...
Chains
About US
Subscribe
Contact US
Follow ancientgifts on Twitter

AD239 Silver Roman Denarius Emperor Gordian Goddess Concordia Harmony Cooperate $179.99


For Customers outside of USA

Silver Roman Antoninianus (Successor to the "Denarius") of Emperor Gordian III with Goddess (of concord, agreement, and harmony) "Concordia Militum" - 239 A.D.

OBVERSE INSCRIPTION: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG.

OBVERSE DEPICTION: The bust of Emperor Gordian III, cuirassed, draped, with radiate crown.

REVERSE INSCRIPTION: CONCORDIA MILIT.

REVERSE DEPICTION: The "Goddess" Concordia Militum seated with a patera in her outstretched right hand, and a double cornucopiae in her left arm.

ATTRIBUTION: City of Rome Mint between 239 and 240 A.D.

SIZE/MEASUREMENTS:

Diameter: 23 x 22 millimeters.

Weight: 3.79 grams.

NOTE: Coin is mounted free of charge into your choice of pendant settings, and includes free chain as well (details below or click here ). IMAGES: Coins are difficult to image, especially silver ones. This coin looks just like it is supposed to, a bright silver denarius. Some of the images here are made with a digital camera, while others are made with a scanner. Hopefully between the two you can get a good idea both as to the detail and appearance (tone) of the coin. We're not really thrilled with either set of images, the coin looks much better in hand.

DETAIL: This is a very handsome silver antoninianus produced in the city of Rome itself between 239 and 240 A.D. It is in exceptional condition, only very, very light wear from circulation in ancient Rome. All legends and themes are very clear and distinct. It was well struck both front and back the result a little oblong, but unlike most coins of the era, the strike caught the entirely of both the legends and the themes, and this is applicable to both the obverse as well as the reverse. It is without a doubt a superior strike. The obverse of the coin depicts Roman Emperor Gordian III, draped, cuirassed, and with radiate crown; and the legend "IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG". "GORDIANVS" refers to the Emperor's name, of course, Marcus Antonius Gordianus. The "V" is used instead of a "U" as in Roman Latin there was no "U".

The "IMP" preface to his name is an abbreviation for "Imperator". Imperator was originally a title or acclamation awarded to victorious generals in the field during the Republic Period (before Julius Caesar). Throughout the history of Republican Rome, the title was bestowed upon an especially able general who had won an enormous victory. Traditionally it was the troops in the field that proclaimed a man imperator - the first step in the process of the general applying to the senate for a triumph (a ceremony both civil and religious held in Rome itself to publicly honor the general and to display/parade the glories and trophies of Roman victory).

Imperatrix was the title of the wife an Imperator. After Augustus Octavian (Julius Caesar's successor) had established the hereditary, one-man rule in Rome that we refer to as the Imperial Roman Empire, the title Imperator was restricted to the emperor and members of his immediate family. If a general who was not part of the imperial family was acclaimed by his troops as Imperator, it was tantamount to a declaration of rebellion or civil war against the ruling emperor. Though the title Augustus is probably the closest Latin equivalent to the English word emperor; it was eventually the term Imperator which became the root of the English word "Imperial". The title Pius Felix is a combination of two separate terms. Pius is a title used for Roman Emperors to means that they are dutiful toward the pantheon of Roman deities, to the country (patriotic), and (perhaps) to their family. Felix means quite simply fortunate, or lucky. In fact the Romans had a goddess of good fortune, Felicitas, who was worshipped in various sanctuaries in Rome. Never hurts to have a leader who is both pious and lucky.

The suffix to Gordian's name, "AVG", was an abbreviation for Augustus. The term "Augustus" is Latin for "majestic" (thus the honorific salutation "your majesty"). However the term "Augustus" in the common vernacular of the Roman Empire became synonymous with the Emperor. The first "Augustus" (and first man counted as a Roman Emperor) was Octavius, Julis Caesar's nephew and heir. Octavian was given the title of Augustus by the Senate in 27 B.C. Over the next forty years, Caesar Augustus literally set the standard by which subsequent Emperors would be recognised, accumulating various offices and powers and making his own name ("Augustus") identifiable with the consolidation of these powers under a single person. Although the name signified nothing in constitutional theory, it was recognised as representing all the powers that Caesar Augustus eventually accumulated.

Caesar Augustus also set the standard by which Roman Emperors were named. The three titles used by the majority of Roman Emperors; "Imperator", "Caesar", and "Augustus" were all used personally by Caesar Augustus (he officially styled himself "Imperator Caesar Augustus"). However of the name "Augustus" was unique to the Emperor himself (though the Emperor's mother or wife could bear the name "Augusta"). But others could and did bear the titles "Imperator" and "Caesar". Later useage saw the Emperor adding the additional titles "Pius Felix ("pious and blessed") and "Invictus" ("unconquered") in addition to the title "Augustus"). In this usage, by signifying the complete assumption of all Imperial powers, "Augustus" became roughly synonymous with "Emperor" in modern language. As the Roman Empire began splintering, Augustus came to be the title applied to the senior Emperor, while the title "Caesar" came to refer to his "junior" sub-Emperors.

The obverse of the coin portrays Roman Emperor Gordian III. Gordian III was the grandson of Emperor Gordian I. Emperor Gordian I had committed suicide a few months prior upon being informed of the death of his son, Gordian II, in battle. Two Senators, Balbinus and Pupienus were elected emperors by the Roman Imperial Senate upon the death of Gordian I and Gordian II. However the Roman army found neither of the two new emperors to their liking, and the Praetorian Guard murdered both on July 29th, 238 A.D., thereupon proclaiming thirteen-year-old Gordian III emperor. Gordian III was very popular amongst the people and especially the Praetorians, who lifted him up on a shield to be cheered by the jubilant people of Rome. Gordian appointed the wise and good Timestheus as Praetorian Prefect. Under the counsel of Timestheus, Gordian ruled well and became quite popular. Gordian married Timestheus's daughter, Tranquillina. The Roman Empire had peace and stability during his reign, which was rare during the Third Century. But the peace was marred by the necessity for Gordian to spend about half of his reign engaged in campaigns against the Persians.

In 241 A.D., the Persian king Ardashir died, and his son Shapur immediately began making trouble for Rome by invading Syria. Gordian III and his army went to deal with Shapur a year later and won several victories in battle against the ruthless Persian. In fact the Roman military campaigns were so effective that the Persians were compelled to evacuate most of Mesopotamia. However during the campaign Praetorian Prefect Timestheus died of an illness in 243 A.D. (perhaps poisoned), and Philip the Arab became Gordian's Praetorian Prefect in his place. Philip was not the loyal friend that Timesthius was. Philip took great pains to make the soldiers dislike Gordian III by bringing about a shortage of supplies and blaming it on Gordian's inexperience. Despite the desperate offer by Gordian to voluntarily relinquish his throne in favor of Philip, nonetheless Philip inspired the Roman troops to murder Gordian III on February 25, 244 A.D., while campaigning in Mesopotamia. Philip intimidated the Senate into acknowledging him as Augustus, and then appointed his own son, Philip II as Caesar.

The image of Gordian III depicted on this coin shows him wearing a radiate crown. The radiate crown, common on the dupondius and antoninianus coins of Roman origin, is reference to divinity, specifically to the Greco-Roman Sun God Sol (or Helios, to the ancient Greeks, and Apollo to the later Greeks). The ancient Greeks generally portrayed their sun god as radiate crowned - as can be seen depicted on the reverse of many ancient Greek (and ultimately Roman) coins. Eventually the Emperors of Rome borrowed the theme, not only depicting a Crowned God Sol on the reverse of their coins, but as well bestowing these divine attributes upon the obverse depiction of their Emperors.

The Emperor is also depicted wearing a cuirass. Roman muscle cuirass armor was considered a sign of a high ranking commander and was worn by Roman Emperors, Praetorian Prefects, Roman Generals, Praetorian Tribunes, and Legionary Legates. Examples of this type of armor can be seen in Roman marble statues and engravings at various museums throughout the world. They were constructed of a leather-trimmed, thin sheet of metal (bronze, silver, or gold) and covered the chest and back. The metal work was generally very elaborate, and in the form of various gods or goddesses, mythological creatures, or the Roman eagle. There has only been one (fragmentary) ancient Roman cuirass ever recovered.

The reverse legend has nothing to do with Mars, it rather refers to Severus Alexander. "P M" is an abbreviation for "Pontifex Maximus". As Augustus, an acclamation or title oftentimes attributed to the Emperor was that of as "Pontifex Maximus", literally "greatest bridgemaker", the significance being that he was the chief priest of the Roman state religion. From 382 A.D. onwards this title has been held by the Pope in Rome. Prior to Octavious Augustus Julius Caesar (in the Roman Republic) the Pontifex Maximus was the head of the pagan Roman Religion, the most important of the priests (pontifices) of the sacred college (Collegium Pontificum). However with the establishment of Empire, Julius Caesar, then Octavius Augustus, and then each Roman Emperor afterwards held the title Pontifex Maximus himself, as the Roman Emperor became deified, i.e., a living god and the apex of the Roman religion.

In later times Concordia would be sometimes portrayed in a military theme, as Concordia Militum. In such character she would oftentimes be depicted holding two standards. Many shrines were erected to Concordia during the Republic era, especially in celebration of the cessation of civil dissension. The earliest was a temple on the Forum Romanum dedicated by Camillus in 367 B.C. The Goddess Concordia was also invoked together with Janus, Salus, and Pax at the family festival of the Caristia each March 30th, and by married woman along with Venus and Fortuna on the following day. During the Imperial period which followed, Concordia Augusta was worshipped as the protectress of harmony, especially of matrimonial agreement in the Emperor's household. In art (especially statuary), Concordia was generally depicted sitting, wearing a long cloak and holding onto a patera (a sacrificial bowl) and one or two cornucopiae. Sometimes, she is shown standing between two members of the Royal House shaking hands.

Your purchase includes, upon request, mounting of this coin in either pendant style "a" or "b" as shown here. Pendant style "a" is a clear, airtight acrylic capsule designed to afford your ancient coin maximum protection from both impact damage and degradation. It is the most "politically correct" mounting. Style "b" is a bezel wrap mount in either sterling silver or 14kt gold fill. Both pendant styles include a split ring for mounting your pendant onto a silver tone or gold tone chain, also included in the cost of your purchase. Upon request, there are also an almost infinite variety of other pendants which might well suit both you and your ancient coin pendant, and include both sterling silver and solid 14kt gold mountings, including those shown here. As well, upon request, we can also make available a huge variety of chains in lengths from 16 to 30 inches, in metals including sterling silver, 14kt gold fill, and solid 14kt gold. Please note, you must request and specify how you wish your coin mounted, as absent specific instructions to the contrary, the default shipment method is the unmounted coin.

HISTORY: Coins came into being during the seventh century B.C. in Lydia and Ionia, part of the Greek world, and were made from a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver. Each coin blank was heated and struck with a hammer between two engraved dies. Unlike modern coins, they were not uniformly round. Each coin was wonderfully unique. Coinage quickly spread to the island and city states of Western Greece. Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.) then spread the concept of coinage throughout the lands he conquered. Ancient coins are archaeological treasures from the past. They were buried for safekeeping because of their value and have been slowly uncovered throughout modern history. Oftentimes soldiers the night before battle would bury their coins and jewelry, hoping and believing that they would live long enough to recover them, and to return to their family. Killed in battle, these little treasure hoards remain until today scattered throughout Western and Eastern Europe, even into the Levant and Persia.

As well, everyone from merchants to housewives found the safest place to keep their savings was buried in a pot, or in some other secretive location. If they met an unexpected end, the whereabouts of the merchants trade goods or the household's sugar jar money might never be known. Recently a commercial excavation for a new building foundation in London unearthed a Roman mosaic floor. When archaeologists removed the floor, they found 7,000 silver denarii secreted beneath the floor. Even the Roman mints buried their produce. There were over 300 mints in the Roman Empire striking coinage. Hoards of as many as 40,000 coins have been found in a single location near these ancient sites. Ancient coins reflect the artistic, political, religious, and economic themes of their times. The acquisition of ancient coins is a unique opportunity to collect art which has been appreciated throughout the centuries.

Coins of the Roman Empire most frequently depicted the Emperor on the front of the coins, and were issued in gold, silver, and bronze. The imperial family was also frequently depicted on the coinage, and, in some cases, coins depicted the progression of an emperor from boyhood through maturity. The reverse side of often served as an important means of political propaganda, frequently extolling the virtues of the emperor or commemorating his victories. Many public works and architectural achievements such as the Coliseum and the Circus Maximus were also depicted. Important political events such as alliances between cities were recorded on coinage. Many usurpers to the throne, otherwise unrecorded in history, are known only through their coins. Interestingly, a visually stunning portrayal of the decline of the Roman Empire is reflected in her coinage. The early Roman bronze coins were the size of a half-dollar. Within 100-150 years those had shrunk to the size of a nickel. And within another 100-150 years, to perhaps half the size of a dime.

One of the greatest civilizations of recorded history was the ancient Roman Empire. In exchange for a very modest amount of contemporary currency, you can possess a small part of that great civilization in the form of a 2,000 year old piece of jewelry. The Roman civilization, in relative terms the greatest military power in the history of the world, was founded in the 8th century (B.C.). In the 4th Century (B.C.) the Romans were the dominant power on the Italian Peninsula, having defeated the Etruscans and Celts. In the 3rd Century (B.C.) the Romans conquered Sicily, and in the following century defeated Carthage, and controlled the Greece. Throughout the remainder of the 2nd Century (B.C.) the Roman Empire continued its gradual conquest of the Hellenistic (Greek Colonial) World by conquering Syria and Macedonia; and finally came to control Egypt in the 1st Century (B.C.).

The pinnacle of Roman power was achieved in the 1st Century (A.D.) as Rome conquered much of Britain and Western Europe. For a brief time, the era of "Pax Romana", a time of peace and consolidation reigned. Civilian emperors were the rule, and the culture flourished with a great deal of liberty enjoyed by the average Roman Citizen. However within 200 years the Roman Empire was in a state of steady decay, attacked by Germans, Goths, and Persians. In the 4th Century (A.D.) the Roman Empire was split between East and West. The Great Emperor Constantine temporarily arrested the decay of the Empire, but within a hundred years after his death the Persians captured Mesopotamia, Vandals infiltrated Gaul and Spain, and the Goths even sacked Rome itself. Most historians date the end of the Western Roman Empire to 476 (A.D.) when Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. However the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) survived until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D.

At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain in the West, throughout most of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and into Asia Minor. Valuables such as coins and jewelry were commonly buried for safekeeping, and inevitably these ancient citizens would succumb to one of the many perils of the ancient world. Oftentimes the survivors of these individuals did not know where the valuables had been buried, and today, two thousand years later caches of coins and rings are still commonly uncovered throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Roman Soldiers oftentimes came to possess large quantities of "booty" from their plunderous conquests, and routinely buried their treasure for safekeeping before they went into battle. If they met their end in battle, most often the whereabouts of their treasure was likewise, unknown. Throughout history these treasures have been inadvertently discovered by farmers in their fields, uncovered by erosion, and the target of unsystematic searches by treasure seekers. With the introduction of metal detectors and other modern technologies to Eastern Europe in the past three or four decades, an amazing number of new finds are seeing the light of day 2,000 years or more after they were originally hidden by their past owners. And with the liberalization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, new markets have opened eager to share in these treasures of the Roman Empire.

These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. Proceeds of the sales benefit the Southern Urals State Student Association for Archaeological and Anthropological Studies in Russia; providing both postgraduate and undergraduate students with meaningful part-time employment, notebook computers, and both reference and study materials. It also supports other institutions and organizations within Russia involved in the study of anthropology and archaeology. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price.

SHIPPING: These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request.

Our order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington will ship your purchase within one business day of receipt of your personal check or money order. If you wish to pay electronically, we accept both PayPal and BidPay. However we ask that you PLEASE WAIT before remitting until we have mutually agreed upon method of shipment and shipping charges and you understand our PayPal limitations and policies (stated here). We will ship within one business day of our receipt of your electronic remittance.

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."