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Ancient Nomos Art is a museum of galleries exhibiting ancient coins and ancient mint maps. The coin gallery displays the diverse art and history of hand-crafted ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Medieval coinage. The ancient mints mapping gallery features Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Asia Minor and Medieval mint city regions and territories. Visitor's are welcome to explore, study and enjoy Ancient Nomos Art.

 

Imperial, Rome – 238 AD

Balbinus

From Ancient Galleries

Obverse: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of bearded Balbinus facing right.
Reverse: Balbinus standing left wearing toga and holding branch and parazonium.

LEGEND
Obv: IMP C D CAEL BALBINVS AVG, Emperor Balbinus laureate, draped and cuirassed bust facing right. Rev: PMTRP COS II PP, Balbinus standing, wearing togate and holding branch and parazonium.

Emperor Balbinus, named Decimus Caelius Calvinus Balbinus, was born in 178 AD. Balbinus is known to have been well educated, an orator, distinguished poet and respected magistrate by the Roman senate. On 22 April 238 AD, Balbinus and Pupienus were elected co-emperors, following the murder of both Gordian’s by Maximinus. Pupienus, now 74 years old, had army experience and was charged with administering the military, while Rome’s civic responsibilities were handled by Balbinus, at 60 years of age. Pupienus then left Rome to deal with the Maximinus threat; however Maximinus’ own troops killed him after losing needed support from Rome. The soldier’s then gave their support to the two new co-emperors. This coin depicts the elderly Balbinus and his trademark portly appearance, featuring his heavy cheeks and short beard. The reverse depicts Balbinus togate, holding a branch upwards in right hand and sheathed with his parazonium sword. Unfortunately, his parazonium dagger failed to aid Balbinus on the day of 29 July 238 AD. It is on this day in July that the Praetorian Guard entered the palace, while the co-emperors were feverishly arguing, and escorted the two men into the streets where they were both publicly executed, after a reign of only 98 days. Pupienus and Balbinus were said to have been honorable Roman consuls and had both been named among the twenty lieutenants of the Roman senate. Finally, grand history of Roman Imperial art finds a small place for the short reign of Balbinus. Prior to his death, Balbinus apparently had a large marble sarcophagus made for himself and his wife while he was still emperor of Rome. His tomb was discovered in fragments near the Via Appia. The finely sculpted lid shows two reclining figures, one of his wife, the other a detailed portrait of Balbinus. Now residing in Lazio, Italy, the marble has been restored and is thought to be the only example of a Roman Imperial sarcophagus of this type.

DOCUMENTATION
Value: Denarius. Metal: AR Silver. Weight: 3.31 grams. Mint: Rome. Date: April-June 238 AD.
Attribution: H. Cohen, Monnaies L’Empire Romain, 20; RIC IV 5; BMCRE 26; RSC 20.

Legend, Documentation and Attribution

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