Sunday, August 5, 2012

How to Talk of Types—and Why

26 12 01 AE 26 (25.3mm)  11.7g: this probably is a tetrassarion.  No magistrate's name.  Bareheaded, head to r.  AVT T AI ADRIA   |   ANTONEINOS.  Rev., Herakles, nude, head to l., weight on r. leg, his right hand resting on his knobby cudgel; over the left forearm, the Nemean Lion's skin.  NEIKOPOLEI  |  TON PROS IST.  The coin has been carefully but thoroughly tooled with metal tools on both sides and probably was heavily encrusted.  The metal is sound.  On the obverse, the relief is very high from the presumed cowlick at the top of the head through the cheek to the beard; its strike raised the plane of the reverse, so the dark area in the scan is the shadow side of a long convexity; perhaps for the same reason, the reverse strike is soft and weak (but the same is true on the smaller, AE 20, Sauroktonos); the type is, however, fine.  Not in AMNG I, 1: the two without magistrates' names at 25-26mm, 10.2f and 11.5g, nos. 1220 and 1221, have the river god and a normal Tyche; those with Zeno's name as magistrate all are small (19-20mm and, like the Sauroktonos, no. 1225, much lighter: the Gotha ex. is 4.05g).  Probably 4s and 2s.  The 30mm Nike writing on a shield, no. 1219, is 19.5g. and exceptional.  There may be another of the Herakles coin, but I have not seen it listed or published.  Now HrJ Nicopolis (2011)
An art industry based on stock types
The die was cast by Pliny's calling famous works of art, that every cultivated person would know, the opera nobilia (whence I took the blog's name for essays on major works of art).  From the spread of printed books onward, the elder Pliny's chapters on famous metal and marble sculptures, culled from Hellenistic sources, were what one learned first.  They were in almost every course outline.  Well and good; one does need to know them.  As excavations produced unforeseen quantities of statuary, much of it copying or based on the named opera nobilia, but even more unnamable and variously related to the stylistic developments that the famous pieces stood for,  it became clear that, especially in the period between Trajan and Gordian III, when the Empire was richer than ever before (this is not the place to discuss the beginnings of serious monetary inflation), and the Greek Empire and north Africa were adorned with the great buildings many of which stand to this day, there was unprecedented demand for sculpture, both civic and private.
When I began to study the Greek Imperial coinage, it became clear to me, as an art historian, that the obviously statuary types on many reverses were only occasionally representations of the opera nobilia of Pliny but usually were based on statues such as every city possessed, produced in workshops where good marble was available, statues that were not creatively original but used stock poses and notions of appropriateness to an assortment of characters.  The workshops (Aphrodisias was only one of them) were capable of supplying what was desired, in a variety of manners.  That is why, in the handbooks by authors as recent as Georg Lippold or Gisela Richter, where coins were illustrated as evidence for famous statues, so few of the thousands of coins served the purpose.  The early post-Renaissance scholars, too, used coins to testify to the names in the texts, but in studying coins for their own sake I saw that, rather, it was the well identified statues, such as the Cnidian Aphrodite, the Apollo Lykeios, and the rest mentioned by Pausanias or Pliny or other writers, that  testified to the tiny and often skewed figures on the coins, not vice versa.  In short, the coins can give us a better notion of the full range of statuary that might be seen in the cities of the Antonine and Severan dynasties than the restricted number of large pieces that have escaped melting down for their metal or burning in the lime kiln.
I should like to use some Herakles figures as examples to discuss what I mean.  The young Herakles on the bronze coin at the head of this essay is, to the best of my knowledge, not secured to one of the famous names (I might think of the workshops, of which we know little other than their existence, that some of the sons of Praxiteles and Lysippos together formed, but that is only because Herakles is tall and slender and graceful).  It is distinguished by his resting his weight on a long cudgel held much as a Victorian gentleman might be shown with a walking cane.
from Sutherland, Roman Coins, London, Barrie & Jenkins, 1974, nos. 421-422.  BMCRE, no. 505.  Sestertius, 24.27g, D. 31mm.  L SEPT•SEV•PE   RT AVG IMP III.  Rev., his Dei Auspices (as in known statues at Leptis Magna), Hercules stg. l., weight on proper rt. leg, his r. leaning on long club and lion skin over his l. forearm; Liber pouring wine over panther.  TR P II COS II and in exergue SC.  (AD 194)
Quite obviously, the Herakles statue shown on the Rome sestertius where it is clearly labeled as one of the patron gods of Septimius is just the same kind of statue as on Antoninus Pius's coin shown above.  It is not surprising that an Antonine type of Herakles should be used for Septimius, who favored almost anything Antonine, though that is not to say that either the Herakles (or the Dionysos 'baptizing' his panther, a very common type) was new in the 2nd century CE.  But the sestertius does accord well with Septimius, on his provincial issues, being given Herakles reverses more commonly than any other emperor, and many of them are of just this type, which at Rome is used also on the asses, which being copper and smaller are not quite so clear, though Doug Smith's photo of mine is splendid.
It is noteworthy that the stance and bodily proportions of the statue of Dionysos are quite similar to those of Herakles, and Hermes, too, often presents just such a figure: only the iconographic attributes change, and, as the sestertius shows more plainly, Herakles has more athletic shoulders.  But this is the young Herakles, not the muscle-bound old hero.
17 01 03 AE 26 Marcianopolis, issued by Pontianus.  Macrinus, laureate, head to r. facing Diadoumenian, bareheaded, head to l.  AV[T K OPEL SEV |  MAKREIN]OS K M OPEL ANTONEINOS.  Heads as on Pick, no. 748 (which has stacked legend in obv. exergue, however).  Rev., Bearded Herakles, frontal, head to r., his right hand resting on his club (but so large and odd that Pick marks it ?), with the lion skin over his left arm, its tail hanging down to his feet.  VP PONTIANOV MAR  KIANOPOLEITON; the OV and the AR ligatures.  In the field at r. E.  Pick, AMNG I, 1, p. 243, no. 752, known to him only from the Sophia example, which does not preserve Pontianus's name and therefore not its ligate ending.  The head of Macrinus extremely refined.  This is HrJ Marcianopolis (2010) (not properly a 'variant'  of 14.1-2, which represent the Lysippic Weary Herakles).
At Marcianopolis, the town that Septimius made his administrative center for the newly created Moesia Inferior, Macrinus, who succeeded (AD 217-218) Septimius and his sons, eager as ever to stress his continuity (which was specious) with Septimius, is given a Herakles reverse (issued by Pontianus) that is of this type, only the lion skin is more emphatically the Nemean, with its head and paws retained and its tail hanging down to the hero's feet.  What is critical for the type is the stance and the long club held elegantly at our left.  And it certainly is the same type, therefore, as on the coin of Antoninus Pius with which we began.
Three more coins seem to me to belong to this series, having all the stylistic peculiarities of post-Antonine standing figures, in which we begin to see the reappearance of misinterpretation of ponderation familiar from the Mars from Todi (see, e.g., in Ramage, Roman Art, Ch. 1:17 of the 1st edition.  Compare the big Septimius bronze from Cyprus, op. cit., Ch. 9:4—and on through Late Imperial and Medieval art), in which the lengths of the straight and flexed thighs are unalike, rather than the effect of bending the torso being carried through the whole body.
18 07 03 AE 25  13.04g  Nicopolis ad Istrum  Issued by Agrippa.  Macrinus, fully bearded, head to r.  AVT K M OPEL SEV  |  ER MA[KRINOS]--same die with one pi, round sigma and epsilon.  Rev., Nude Herakles (yes, under loupe there is a beard), laureate, standing frontal, facing r., leaning on his club in his r. fist, holding bow in his l. hand, Nemean lion's skin over his l. forearm.  VP K A[GRIPPA NI]  |  KOPOLITON PROS and in exergue ISTRON.  The sigma of PROS is round, that in ISTRON is squared..  Pick AMNG I, 1, p. 436, no. 1696, Taf. XVII, 17.  Imhoof's ex. 1 at 13,60g is even heavier.  HrJ

29 03 04 Æ27 13.34g axis 12:30  Nicopolis ad Istrum.  Issued by Longinus.  Diadumenian, drpaed bust (fringe on l. shoulder) to r.  Some specimens show armor on r. shoulder.  ---]DIADOV (stacked, ligate) | MENIANOS K (not same die as Pick 1855, but prob. that of 1832, 1836, 1839, 1841-3, 1848, 1861, 1870-1).  Rev., Herakles, unbearded and nude, stg. r., leaning on long club in his r. and holding the skin of the Nemean lion over his l. forearm.  VP STA LONGINOV NIKOPOL[ITÔN PR]OS I.  Pick, AMNG I, 1, 1855, describing and illustrating a single specimen in Munich, Taf. XVII, 13.  This coin links this Herakles reverse with the others using this obverse, including the Epquestrian reverse, no. 1870.  This is the most childish head of Diadumenian at N ad I, though another without the K at the end and the stacked diphthong are very similar, but within so short a span of months it may (or not) be due only to the artist.
Pick 1855, Taf. XVII, 13, but the obv. die is different.
Obv. die as 1833 (Zeus frontal) and 1836 (Demeter with snakes).   ???
Be that as it may, the plate coin ought to be in SNG Munich 7 now.

16 05 01 AE 26  Nicopolis ad Istrum  Elagabalus, laureate head r.  The obverse legend being poorly preserved, the identification is provided by the name of the magistrate, Novius Rufus, on the reverse, since the head is generically handsome.  AVT K M AVRE   |   [AN]TON[EINOS] (completed from Pick no. 1947, from examples in Gotha, Loebbecke coll., and Vienna.  Rev. Nude Herakles frontal, head l., resting his r. on his cudgel, his l. arm akimbo with the lion's skin over the forearm.  Like nos. 1944-6, but here the hero is bearded, and the distribution of letters also is that of no. 1947: VP NOBIOV ROUPhOV NIKOPOLITON PROS ISTR and in the field O N, on either side of Herakles.    HrJ (2012) 
Also, we see differentiation from the "pure" di auspices Hercules on the Rome Sestertius expressed in the treatment of the lion skin over the figure's left forearm, which may also hold a bow, though the same statuary type and elongate proportions still prevail.  Indeed, for what it's worth, Elagabalus having this same Herakles tends to support the suspicion that it is specially Severan in Moesia Inferior.
Still, the Herakles that first appeared, issued by Pollenius Auspex, on Septimius's tetrassaria of Nicopolis as part of Moesia Inferior (and which reminded me of the di auspices on the Rome sestertius) not only has his face to his l. but throws his weight to his left leg, so that he might even be a
side view of the Herakles actually shown in side view on numerous coins.
11 09 01 AE 27.  Nicopolis ad Istrum.  Septimius Severus, laureate, head to r.  Issued by Pollenius Auspex.  AV KAI SEP  |   SEVEROS P[ER]--nothing discernible after pi on this example.  Rev., Herakles stg., head turned r., leaning on his club in his r., with the Nemean lion's skin over his l. forearm and holding a bow in his l. hand.  VPA POL AVS[PIKOS NIK]OPOLI PROS IS.   Pick, AMNG I, 1, no. 1257. HrJ (2011) 
With Caracalla appearing about the same age as on the coins connected with his marriage to Plautilla, when Aurelius Gallus was governor of Moesia Inferior (i.e., not long after AD 200) we have coins issued for both Septimius and Caracalla with Herakles in this posture on the reverse, only instead of the bow (which would allude to the Stymphalian birds) he holds apples on his palm, and with the head no longer aligned with the supporting left leg the pose seems hardly heroic.  This relaxed posture is much commoner than the coins that I have in hand would suggest.
10 09 03 AE 26  10.46g  axis 7:00  Nicopolis ad Istrum.  Issued by Gallus.  Septimius Severus, laureate, head to r.  AVT L SEPTI   |   SEVEROS P (obverse of Pick 1316, AMNG I, 1, p. 367, and Varbanov I, p. 162, no. 2121, illus.).  Rev., Herakles stg. to r., his right leaning on a club (knobby?), with the Lion's pelt over his l. arm; it is not possible to see a bow in the dense corrosion on the reverse, and the legend, with GALLOV spelled out, does not quite match Pick, AMNG I, 1, p.365, no. 1308, though the exergue matches: VP AV GALLOV  |  NIKOP[----  and in the exergue PROS I.  But for the rare and beautiful obverse die, this ugly specimen might look suspect.  The lettering of the reverse does match that of the Cybele-on-lion reverse that occurs with the obverse die in Varbanov's example.  HrJ
04 06 03 AE 26 11.35g  Nicopolis ad Istrum  Issued by Gallus. Caracalla, laureate, draped bust to r.  AV . K . M AV[R]   |   . ANTONINO and perhaps C (the sigma buried in folds at bottom?).  Rev., bearded Herakles, nude, stg. r., leaning on a large knobby club in his r., with the Nemean Lion's skin over his l. forearm and in his l. hand holding Apples of the Hesperides.  VP AV GALLOV  |  NIKOPOLITON .  and in exergue PROS I.  Pick, AMNG I, 1, p. 407, no.  1551 for the reverse.   The obv. die with a separate final sigma that Pick discusses there is a head and the name is spelled Antoneinos.  This portrait bust resembles, rather, that of nos. 1539, ff., i.e., the Gallus Sauroktonos, but for the lacking or 'hidden' sigma, as on 1548.  HrJ
It is interesting at this point to compare a coin of Philippopolis, probably more nearly contemporary with Tertullus at Nicopolis, so less than five  years earlier.  It is almost certainly Varbanov III, no. 1161, citing Mushmov's P.A,M., the 1924 catalogue of the coins at the Plovdiv Archaeological Museum, no. 275.

AE 28  13.20gr  axis 6h.  AV K L SE    VÊROS  (the legend at left needs lots of help from Varbanov, who must be using Mushmov 1924).
Rev. ÊG ST [BAR]BAR  0V PhILIPPOPOL and in exergue EITÔN (to the best of my ability). Rotated in good light, the coin does clearly exhibit that big, broad Phi.  The epsilons are round-backed.

That Herakles reverts to face to l., but he holds the club as on the two issued by Gallus at Nicopolis and to hold apples, but on the palm of his r. hand.  His déhanchement  is as great as on the Gallus coins.  It would be not only lazy but wrong to call these Philippopolis and Nicopolis coin simply variants of each other; it would be refusing to consider what the differences might mean (even if one cannot answer).  That they are closely related, however, seems certain.
Sharing all the motifs of the Philippopolis coin (head facing our left, his left hand resting on club, weight on his left leg—but restored to contrapposto, heel aligned with head—lion skin on his r. forearm and apples on r. palm), this is exactly the type of the Philippopolis coin; only the style is quite different.
Though for the most part Nicopolis coins are prettier, the best pentassaria (marked E in field) issued by Pontianus are almost masterpieces, as this one is:
28 04 03 AE 27 (max.)  Marcianopolis.  Issued by Pontianus.  Macrinus, laureate, and Diadumenian, confronted draped busts.  [AV K] OPEL SEVE MAKREI[N]OS (the omicron split in the strike) K M OPEL ANTONEINOS K.  Rev., Herakles, beardless, frontal with head to l., resting long, knobby club in his l. on ground, holding apples on his extended right hand (the lion skin hangs from his r. forearm).  VP PONTIANO | [V] MARKIANOPO and in exergue LITON.  In field at r. round E.  Pick, AMNG I, 1, p. 242, no. 751 (both dies), pl. XVII, 14.  HrJ (2011)

Here is another confrontation of a Philippopolis, this one signed by Barbaros, and a Nicopolis, signed by Tertullus; it is obvious that the term of Barbaros in Thrace coincides (there is other evidence than this) with that of Tertullus, the best determined for Moesia Inferior (from AD 198 to c. 201), but they cannot be proven to coincide perfectly.  With these coins, the Philippopolis Herakles looks more 'original' to me, but it is hard to say, since they might, rather, have shared a prototype (engraved gems and repoussé silver always come to mind).
The Philippopolis coin, signed by Barbaros, was cited by Varbanov III, no. 1167. as in the Gavralliov collection and the portrait is one of the finest.  The Nicopolis one is signed by Tertullus (the Bucarest specimen is described by Pick, AMNG I, 1, p.l 360, no. 1276—but that coin has a bust with cloak over armor.  The Tertullus is now HrJ (2012), including this specimen.
Philippopolis even offers (Varbanov III, no. 1356), on a charming 18mm copper, Herakles standing in much the same way but with the Infant Telephos sitting on the lion skin.  One almost wants to think that, by identifying with Herakles (and adopting Telephos, so to speak), Septimius was both justifying his own claim to dynasty and his Antonine claim in naming Caracalla, as emperor, Antoneinos, by the spurious parentage to Commodus, that egregious identifier with Herakles.
11 01 02 AE 18  Thrace, Philippopolis.  Septimius Severus, head to r. (whether laureate not preserved).  ----]  |  SEVERO.  Rev., Herakles, unbearded, stg. frontal, head turned to l., r. arm akimbo and also evidently holding his club; on his l. forearm, the infant Telephos who reaches up to his shoulder. [PhI]LIPP  |  OPOL[ITON].  Almost certainly quotes a Pergamene statuary type, why at Philippopolis quite unknowable.

Finally, in this series, here is a Septimius that must be one of the last issued by Aurelius Gallus for him, with a Herakles that most kindly might be called rugged—but not like the ruggedness of the "Farnese" type.
AE 27 Septimius Herakles; Gallus  9.81g  axis ~6:00.  Obv. legend as Pick 1306; Rev. is Pick 1308   HrJ (2012)       
Now we turn to Septimius's Caesar, whether or not his little Telephos, still bareheaded.  One of the nicest small coppers, 15mm.:

22 06 06 Æ 15.5mm  3.71g  axis 1h.  Nicopolis ad Istrum.  Caracalla, bareheaded, bust to r.  M AV K  |  ANTÔNIN (acc to Berlin and Sofia).  Rev., Bearded Herakles stg. r., leaning on his knotty club in his l. and, with the Nemean lion's skin over his forearm, holding an apple (?) of immortality in his l. hand.   NIKOPOL  |  PROS IST (Pick does not record the lambda on his specimens).  Pick, AMNG I, 1, p. 398, no. 1498, citing Berlin Cat. 79, 37 "ungenau" and Sofia.  The Herakles (nos. 1386-1389) on coppers of Septimius are not listed with the apple.       HrJ

Though most of them show Herakles with a bow (alluding probably to the Stymphalian Birds), the statuary type, meaning the figure's stance and the assembling of its parts, would be the same as on the foregoing, including that of Philippopolis for Septimius, but it looks as if the engraver of the AE 15 (its weight shows that a slightly larger diameter would not be surprising) reconsidered the Herakles as a work of art, as, of course, an artisan who cared for his work would be free to do.  It must date from slightly before Caracalla was made co-Augustus in AD 198.
03 05 04 AE 26  14.39g  axis 7:30  Nicopolis ad Istrum.  Issued by Gallus.  Plautilla, bust to r.  PhOVL PLAV  |  TILLA SEBAS (Pick 1632 for this die).  Rev. Herakles stg. to r., his r. hand resting on his club and his left, oustretched, with the lion skin and bow (this is the rather rare Pick 1631, for which the Naples specimen, described by Pick, clearly has a different obv. die).  [VP AVR] GALLOV NEIKOPOLITON and in exergue traces of [PROS I].  HrJ (2l011)
Similarly, the Nicopolis coins with this kind of portrait of Plautilla, while not necessarily issued for the marriage in AD 202, are not likely to be much later, given the problems that quickly developed, and they do seem to form a set.  As with the Apollo Sauroktonos, it is remarkable that besides the usual empresses' types, such as the Aphrodite in the "Capitoline Venus" pose (naming its formal type; iconographically considered, it is one of many pudica Aphrodites), Plautilla, while the world was urged to rejoice in the union and the promise of heirs, at Nicopolis was given full-size tetrassaria in types usually reserved for males (types that even Julia Domna did not have, Herakles included).  Perhaps this has everything to do with her father's importance.

And now a Type with a Name (in fact, with several names)
Basel, Antikenmuseum, BS 204.  Head of a fine copy of Lysippos' Resting, or Weary,
Herakles (Hercules Farnese).  Heroic but not colossal scale, a very attractive
copy that should antedate the making of the colossal version made for the Baths of Caracalla in Rome.

The Baths were dedicated in AD 216.
For that and all the other data, well known, see the very well referenced article s.v.
Farnese Hercules.   Like many other such articles, of course, its variable point of view reflects 
copy-and-paste from disparate sources, but the data seem OK.

26 IV 00 AE18 (max D).  Nicopolis ad Istrum.  Caracalla; AV K M AV ANTONIN.  Rev. Head of bearded (Lysippic) Herakles to r. NIKOPOLITON PROS IS (Greek transliterated).  Pick 1594.  HrJ (2012) 8.18.14,17.

07 01 02 AE17 Nicopolis ad Istrum  Septimius Severus, laureate (?) head to r.  AV K L   |   SEVEROS.  Rev., Head of Herakles Farnese type (Resting Herakles).  NIKOPOLITON PROS IS.  Cf. Pick, AMNG I, 1, no. 1594 (Caracalla, laureate, but still a boy); not located for Septimius (but cf. no. 1358, with Helios head, where the obverse die has same short legend).  Herakles head not same die as my Caracalla of this type.  HrJ (2011) 
There are further dies for coppers with the Lysippic Herakles head, but these are among the best.
My beginning with the head alone does not (as the linked article makes clear) suggest any doubt as to the very distinctive stance but to the heavily copyrighted best images of it.  It is one of those famous works that persons who seldom consider Lysippos, or his Late Classical age, or even Caracalla and his Baths, even think of––including most muscle-building establishments.  In the late 19th c., for example,  you could obtain a carte de visite albumen print from a collodion plate glass negative of the great Eugene Sandow posed and rather comically fig-leafed, with a huge faux leopard skin behind him, as the Farnese Hercules from the fashionable studio of Napoleon Sarony in NYC.  But the statue by Lysippos is proven by a number of pre-Roman-Empire copies to have become famous almost immediately, and, as we have noted, Septimius certainly encouraged identification with the by then universally famous hero that Commodus had identified himself with—and with whose 'rumored' paternity of Caracalla Septimius was happy for dynastic reasons to re-name his heir Antoninus (no wonder, perhaps, that Macrinus followed suit for Diadumenian).
The standing Herakles with which we began here may well have been auspex, but the very specific and famous Weary Herakles was different, and more.

26 03 03 AE 27 Nicopolis ad Istrum  Issued by Tertullus  Septimius Severus, laureate, head to r.  AV.K.L.S   |   SEVEROS P (the legend, with head, of Pick 1278, 1283).  Rev., Herakles, the "Farnese Hercules" type, to r., very husky, resting his club butt on a very solid rock.  From 7:00 o'clock, VPA OOVI.TERTVLLOV NIKOPO PROS I, ending just before the V.  Pick, AMNG I, 1, p. 360, no. 1276, perhaps (known only from one example in Bucarest, though this obv. is no bust, and this rev. has no bow with the lion skin and two fewer letters in the ethnic.  Pick says that the rev. of 1276 is the same as on coins of Septimius and Caracalla and of Caracalla alone.  This reverse die may be new.  HrJ (now, for images of additional specimens of this die-pair, see s.v. Herakles, Weary  in the alphabetized Study Album.
Note carefully, in the new editions (2011 in Bulgarian, and 2012, in press, in English), that–3, by reason of pagination in offset printing, includes in one box the plain profile view of a standing Herakles (see foregoing paragraphs) and the Tertullus Lysippic, Weary Herakles.  Tertullus had a couple of quite exceptional die engravers, and this is one of them, making the burly but athletic hero really memorable. Note, too, that the Bucarest specimen, the one that Pick knew, may have had a different obverse die.
19 03 03 AE~18  Nicopolis ad Istrum.  Septimius Severus, laureate, head to r.  AV KAI S[E]  |  SEVEROS.  Rev., Farnese type Herakles, stg. r., remarkably true to the type.  NIKOPOLI   |   PROS ISTR.  Not Pick AMNG I, 1 (= Cop SNG 2, no. 267), not one of the three following, but Lanz Auktion 97, May 2000, no. 707 (= Varbanov I, no. 1836).  Both dies seem to match, but the Lanz coin is VF on both sides.  HrJ (2011)
Personally, from years of poring over these coins, I cannot doubt that the small copper is no later than the tetrassarion with its Imperial attitude in the obverse portrait, certainly not a Gallus coin.

I have often thought that sea-damaged marble copy of Lysippos's Weary Herakles (being from the Antikythera shipwreck and so older than the Baths of Caracalla, and apparently of the same Heroic but not Colossal scale as the original), for all its lamentable condition gives us a better feeling of the proportions, the stance, the attitude of an original by Lysippos.  It is athletic and no longer young, but it is not painfully, even comically musclebound, and its proportions suggest a living body.  Since the Farnese statue is early 3rd c. CE, assuming it was manufactured by Glykon for its place in the great Baths, we need to remind ourselves constantly that it was not work like the Farnese statue that made the creation famous.

11 04 03 AE 27+  Nicopolis ad Istrum.  Issued by Longinus.  Macrinus, laureate, head to r.  [AV] K M OPEL SEV   |   MAKRIENOS (same as nos. 1723, 1737, 1741, also with heads).  Rev., nude, bearded Herakles stg. r., his right hand on his hip, his left, with the lion-skin-draped club in his armpit and thus resting on a stone (the pose of the Hercules Farnese).  VP STA LONGINOV NIKOPOLITON PROS IS.  Trait for trait and letter for letter, Pick AMNG I, 1, no. 1759 and Varbanov I, no. 2699; judging from Pick, only the Sofia ex. has equal detail and complete legend, and Varbanov's is similarly struck to this one but more worn.  Now HrJ
14 I 00 AE26  Moesia Inferior, Nicopolis ad Istrum.  Diadoumenian, bareheaded bust to right.  Obv. legend, --]MENIANOS KAI  remains (the KAI complete).  Rev. Weary Herakles to right (for the rock, see Argos copy of Lysippos's Weary Herakles and Charles Edwards, in Personal Styles in Greek Sculpture (ed. Palagia and Pollitt), and fig. 88 there.  The magistrate's name is Longinus, and most of the city name is preserved.  Now HrJ  
(Note: here and elsewhere, for coins that I described more than a decade ago, before I knew AMNG, before I knew Forvm Ancient Coins, I have left unaltered what I thought then, thinking it might interest other beginners: these are essays, not databases).
Even with the excellent engravers who worked on the dies made for issues signed by Longinus at the beginning of Macrinus's brief reign of 14 months, in AD 217–218, we see a tendency to make neat detail more important than the effect of a living hero in the form of a living human body, that revolution in Greek art of the Classical centuries, which we have taken for granted in the Art of the West as we know it.  We already saw, in a different Herakles made for Macrinus, the same shift to abandoning the illusion of life in light and motion in favor of clarifying all the identifiable parts, the shift that would characterize Late Antique and Medieval art.  Philosophers of art have been trying to rationalize this reversion to conceptual art for centuries.  I'd only say, with any confidence, that it is very hard for societies (or individuals!) to keep their grasp on difficult and complicated ideas.
21 03 03 AE 27  Marcianopolis.  Issued by Pontianus.  Macrinus, laureate, and Diadumenian, confronted busts.  AVT K OPELLI SEV MAKREINOS K M OPELLI ANTONEINOS, fuzzy but there.    Rev., Herakles Resting, the Farnese type, to r., with his hand behind his back, the Nemean lion's skin as padding for his armpit over the stump of his club, which rests on a pile of rocks, verifying Pick's description.  VP PONTIANOV (o-u ligate) MAR[KIA]NOPOLEITON, all round (exergue empty); E mark in left field.  Pick, AMNG I, 1, p. 243, no. 753, exactly.
HrJ (from the second edition of Marcianopolis, but many of the HrJ numbers will remain the same or very similar: 6 is always Marcianopolis, 23 is always Macrinus, 14 is always Herakles, and the final number always is for a specific type; it is not to criticize them that I would urge everyone engaged in specialized work on the reverse types to follow Imhoof-Blumer's practice of considering the significance of differences, not least when statues that everyone knew had different connotations).
By the way, don't you agree that the same engraver may have made both Macrinus's Weary Herakles signed by Longinus at Nicopolis and, very shortly thereafter, that on the pentassarion (see the E in the field) signed by Pontianus at Marcianopolis?  It doesn't really matter (it takes a really stupid or dishonest cataloguer to try to run up the price of any artwork by 'naming' the artist); the Herakles figures made for Macrinus all show the same hints of a Late Roman art still to come.

The representations of Herakles in action would have been based on pictures, rather than statuary, in most cases and therefore are not discussed here.  Also, I have left out study coins that are hardly legible, and, need I add, the selection discussed here, though I think adequate, is not intended for a catalogue (for which see all the pre-existing and forthcoming catalogues, not least the English edition of Hristova and Jekov, Nicopolis, perhaps available even as I write.

Tuesday, 7 August:  Yesterday evening I proofread this essay, correcting typos and making minor clarifications.  I also added keywords, which will help Google searches.

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