|Roman Bi-metallic Pieces|
by Cliff Anderson, WBCC#38
Dr. Hubert Lanz operates a first class numismatic firm in Munich, Germany. On 20 November 2000, Lanz held an auction of a large number of Roman imperial coins and medallions, from the collection of Leo Benz. In preparation for that auction, Lanz published a photographic catalog. (See his great website www.numislanz.com, where all of his catalogs are online.)
Thanks to Dr. Lanz in granting permission, the following images of bi-metallic pieces are excerpted from that catalog and are accompanied with some descriptive information. All of them depict Roman emperors and/or their family members. The dates shown are those relating to the bi-metallic pieces themselves.
In doing a bit of encyclopedia research on these pieces, I noticed that without exception, that every one of the emperors shown were murdered by their successors except Philippus who died in battle. Caracalla was rumored to have killed his father Emperor Septimus Severus, and his brother (in front of his mother - nice guy), but then was murdered in 217AD by his successor Macrinus (no bi-metallic for Macrinus). Elagabalus takes the throne in 218AD after Macrinus is slain trying to kill him, but he was murdered in 222 by his successor Severus Alexander. But Severus is slain in 233 by his successor Maximinus Thrax (no bi-metallic for Max). Gordianus III was slain by Philippus in 244, but Philippus died in battle on 249.
Now how relevant is all that murder and that to bi-metallics? Could the bi-metallics have been struck as attempts at propaganda?
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