Coin of the Month

December 2022: Coin find from Viminacium

The Coin of this Month is presented by Mirjana Vojvoda & Saša Redžić

For the month of December, we present a coin from the Museum of the Institute of Archaeology within the Archaeological Park Viminacium, which has just been prepared for a new exhibition there. We expect more coins from this collection to be uploaded to the CN portal by our Serbian colleagues, which should make these treasures accessible to the numismatic audience worldwide.

The coin was minted in Pautalia under Septimius Severus. It comes from the eastern necropolis of Viminacium at Pirivoj site, where it was found inside a brick-built vaulted burial structure (Grave G-199) that was looted already in antiquity. Among a few grave goods that survived the looting, there were three coins, including denarii of Trajan and of Faustina the Elder, as well as a bronze coin of Septimius Severus minted in Pautalia.

This Pautalian coin, bearing the name of the provincial governor Тitus Statilius Barbarus (195-198 AD), presents the emperor on horseback pointing a spear at a lion. The type is not very common. The 1932/33 publication by Ruzicka lists specimens in Athens and London, also referring to the book by Mušmov. The recent catalogue by J. Tačev (2020) lists a specimen in commerce that shares dies with our COM, as well as with two other specimens recorded in the CN portal.

Under Antoninus Pius, an increased influx of coins from the Thracian mints in the territory of present-day Serbia can be observed. Two other peaks coincide with the reigns of Septimius Severus and Caracalla. Among the Thracian cities, the coins of Pautalia prevail, being followed by Hadrianopolis, Philippopolis and Perinthus, while the share of other mints (Anchialus, Serdica, Deultum, Byzantium, Augusta Traiana, Mesambria, Plotinopolis) is considerably smaller.

The mapping of Thracian coins found in the territory of present-day Serbia shows their largest concentration in Viminacium and its vicinity. The presentation of excavation coins as part of the permanent exhibition in the Viminacium Museum is highly important. Of nearly 7,000 coins found at Viminacium, about 500 will be permanently on display, including the Pautalian coin of Septimius Severus, which features as the December COM.

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