|Volume 66 No. 5||May 2020|
For a first effort, our April online meeting went well. Attendance would have been higher if not for problems encountered by some members. For acceptable levels of real-time video and audio, use a device less than 5 years old – the newer the better. Also, acceptable performance will require a good network connection – dial-up modems will not be sufficient, and instead of guessing at a minimal data rate, I suggest you verify your device can play some online videos in real time. Our page of instructions to participate in our online meetings has links to YouTube videos on using the Webex service we will be using. If you have no problems with those videos, there is a good chance you will have no problems with our meeting.
An email will be sent to all members a day or two before our regular May meeting, containing an invitation (as a link) to participate in our May online meeting. If you received an invitation to our April online meeting, you should receive an invitation to our May online meeting. If you did not receive an invitation to our April online meeting, email the club secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org and request an invitation. Try it, you’ll like it!
Paul Hybert, editor
The 1215th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President Richard Lipman at 6:45 PM CDT, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Due to the pandemic shutdown, the meeting was online with 31 members and 1 guest, Stephen Joseph Conte from Des Moines, participating. As the meeting progressed, additional members joined and reached 38 at 7:19 PM.
President Lipman welcomed everyone and spoke about the pandemic and how everyone must keep social distance, but the Club would continue to go about sharing numismatic knowledge. Rich went on to thank Deven Kane for hosting the online event, plus Lyle Daly, John Riley, and Carl Wolf who served as advisors.
The March minutes were approved as posted on the Club’s web site. Elliott Krieter gave the March treasurer’s report showing $380.00 in revenue, $163.00 in expenses. The report was approved.
First VP Lyle Daly introduced Mark Wieclaw who gave the featured program Dynastic Issues of the Roman Empire. After a question and answer period, Lyle presented Mark with a virtual image of an ANA Educational Award and a personally engraved medal suspended on a neck ribbon.
Lyle announced the following upcoming programs:
Second VP John Riley announced the evening’s 5 exhibitors.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:26 PM.
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary
presented by Mark Wieclaw,
to our April 8, 2020 meeting.
What is a “Dynastic” issue? Mark started his presentation with that question, and then he answered it with some background information. Every Roman Emperor issued coins with his portrait on the obverse. Many also included an image of one or more of their family members, usually on the reverse. These coins are referred to as Dynastic issues. In a few instances, there were coins issued with the portraits of only family members. In cases when the Emperor had no heirs or did not feel confident in the ability of his offspring to succeed him, the emperor adopted someone who was deemed to have good leadership qualities; the adopted heir was shown on coins. Except for one coin, all coin images in this program are of denarius (in silver) or aureus (in gold) pieces found on the Internet. This presentation will not cover Provincial issues, which is the term for everything from outside of Rome. Also not covered will be coins with figures of the Royal family on the reverse, because a figure small enough to fit on a coin is not identifiable. Having set the scope, Mark broke it with the first coin.
A silver denarius with Marc Antony on one side and Cleopatra on the other, circa 32 BC, is not an Imperial issue — but Mark felt this was historically significant enough to be included in any presentation on ancient coinage. The coins of Octavian followed. Octavian was the great-nephew of Julius Caesar who had adopted him as his heir shortly before his death, so it seemed proper to show us coins with busts of Octavian and Julius Caesar — the busts are facing on the denarius, while on opposite sides on the shown aureus. Following Caesar’s death, Octavian, Marc Antony, and Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate in 43 BC — the shown denarius and aureus have busts of Octavian and Marc Antony on opposite sides. After years of conflict, Octavian ruled alone as emperor from 27 BC to 14 AD under the name “Augustus.”
A denarius with busts of Augustus and Agrippa was shown next. Agrippa was a close friend of Augustus since childhood, as well as a respected military commander. Agrippa had been designated to succeed Augustus, but he pre-deceased Augustus in 12 BC. Busts of Augustus and his daughter Julia appeared on the next denarius. Julia’s second marriage was to Agrippa, and her third marriage was to Tiberius; banished by Augustus in 2 BC to the island of Pandataria, she remained in exile, dying weeks after her father’s death in 14 AD. Caius and Lucius, the sons of Julia and Agrippa, were the grandsons of Augustus whom they were destined to succeed; Mark showed a denarius with a bust of Augustus on the obverse and the busts of Julia, CSaius, and Lucius on the reverse, but Caius and Lucius died in 4 AD and 3 AD. A denarius and aureus of Augustus and Tiberius closed out the program’s coins of Augustus; following the deaths of his chosen successors, his stepson Tiberius was selected to be next in line. Mark showed no coins of Tiberius as emperor, but he showed two coins of the third emperor, Caligula.
Born Caius Caesar, Caligula, the youngest son of Germanicus, was Emperor during 37-41 AD. His early reign was commendable, but later in the year he became seriously ill and the illness affected his judgement — some believe he may have become insane. The first shown denarius had busts of Caligula and his father on opposite sides, while the second denarius had busts of Caligula and his mother, Agrippina Senior, on opposite sides. She had married Germanicus in 5 AD, and in 29 AD Tiberius banished her to the island of Pandataria, where she died of starvation in 33 AD. A question from the audience led to a brief discussion on the use of Junior and Senior with a woman’s name.
Agrippina Junior, the eldest daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina Senior, was banished in 39 AD by her brother Caligula, then was recalled by her uncle Claudius whom she married in 49 AD. Claudius reigned from 41-54 AD. A shown denarius had busts of Claudius and Agrippina Junior on opposite sides. Her first marriage had produced a son, Nero. She is believed to have poisoned Claudius in 54 AD to make room for Nero, who then murdered her in 59 AD.
Nero, as a boy of 17, was named emperor upon the death of Claudius in 54 AD. The Empire was actually run by Burrus and Seneca quite capably until 62 AD when Burrus died and Seneca retired … and Rome burned. Nero was vane, extravagant, and quite unpopular with the citizens; he committed suicide in 68 AD. We saw some beautiful coins from his reign starting with an aureus with busts of Nero and Agrippina Junior on opposite sides, then gold and silver coins, first with conjoined busts and then with facing busts; the reverse of some coins with featured a team of elephants pulling a wagon with standing and seated figures.
Vitellius had the shortest reign of any emperor who struck “Dynastic” issues, ruling for part of the bloody year of 69 AD. He was murdered by his former troops, now led by Vespasian, with his body dragged through the streets and thrown into the Tiber. First we saw a denarius with busts of Vitellius and Lucius Vitellius on opposite sides. Lucius Vitellius, the father of Vitellius, had a distinguished career in politics before dying of paralysis in 52 AD. Then we saw a denarius and aureus with a bust of Vitellius on one side and facing bust of two of his children on the other.
Vespasian, a great military leader under Claudius and Nero, was proclaimed emperor on July 1st, 69 AD, and ruled quite admirably until his death on June 24, 79 AD. Vespasian’s elder son, Titus, ruled well from 79 to 81 AD, but died unexpectedly. Domitian, the younger son of Vespasian, was not quite like his father or brother; he spread terror and oppression throughout the Empire during his 81-96 AD reign, which ended with his murder. First we saw a denarius with a bust of Vespasian on one side and the facing busts of Titus and Domitian on the other. Then we saw an aureus with busts of Vespasian and Domitilla, his first wife, on opposite sides. She was the mother of Titus, Domitian, and Domitilla the Younger, but she died before her husband became Emperor.
For a period lasting nearly one hundred years (from 96 AD to 192 AD) when the emperors adopted their successor; either they had no natural heirs or did not think that their offspring were capable of running the Empire. Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Lucius Verus, Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus comprised the group known as the “Adoptive” Emperors, with the first five of these men commonly referred to as the “Five Good” Emperors. No coins of Nerva were shown.
Trajan was born in 52 AD in Spain, and held many important military posts. Trajan was appointed governor of Upper Germany by Emperor Nerva, who later adopted Trajan as heir to the throne. Trajan ruled in 98-117 AD and accomplished many great feats in building up Rome. We saw an aureus with a bust of Trajan on one side and a bust of his father, Trajan Pater who died in 100 AD, on the other side. Another shown aureus of Trajan has facing busts of two important men in the life of Trajan: Trajan Pater, his natural father, and Nerva, his adoptive father.
Antoninus Pius, had a long career in politics before he was adopted by Hadrian on Feb.25, 138 AD, and virtually ran the Empire until his official succession on July 10. Hadrian also was the first to recognize the fine qualities of leadership that Marcus Aurelius possessed, and encouraged Antoninus Pius to adopt Marcus Aurelius and give him the title of Caesar in 139 AD. Marcus Aurelius was emperor in 161-180 AD. We saw a denarius and an aureus with busts of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius on opposite sides. Commodus, the last of the Adoptive Emperors, was not a great, or even good, leader. He chose to retire from the throne without choosing a successor in 192 AD. Pertinax, a Roman senator, was forced into the role of Emperor in 193 AD and was murdered 86 days later, followed by Didius Julianus, who lasted 66 days.
Septimius Severus was a great military leader who was proclaimed Emperor by his troops upon the death of Pertinax in 193, ruling until 211 AD. Julia Domna, the wife of Severus, was a woman of brilliant intellect and was often consulted by Severus on matters of importance. Caracalla, the elder son, ruled in 198-217 AD; although he proclaimed all free inhabitants as citizens of Rome, he was cruel and extravagant. Geta, the younger son, was given the title of Caesar in 198 and Augustus in 209 AD, co-ruling from 209 to 212 AD. Caracalla had his brother Geta murdered in their mother’s arms, and had 20,000 followers of Geta killed. There are probably more iterations of Dynastic issues in this family than all the others combined. However, they are all rare to very rare. We saw coins with busts of Septimius or Julia on one side and many arrangements on the other side: a bust of one son, facing busts of the two sons, conjoined busts of a parent and one son, and more. One aureus had a profile bust of Septimius on one side while the other side had a centered facing bust of Julia flanked by profile busts of her sons looking at her, with a legend about a happy peaceful family.
Aurelian adopted a military career at an early age and through his skill, courage, and strength became one of the Empire’s greatest generals. He was proclaimed Emperor in 270 AD, and ruled until 275 AD, completely restoring the Empire to its former extent in five years. Rumors started by his secretary led to his assassination but, once they were disproved, the secretary was put to death and his wife Severina continued on in power for about six months. We saw a bronze double sestertius with busts of Aurelian and Severina on opposite sides.
Vabalathus co-ruled Palmyra, in the eastern portion of the Empire, with his mother Zenobia. He was proclaimed Augustus in 271, but Aurelian quickly put an end to their reign. They were spared death and were taken to Rome where they were allowed to live a normal life. Although coins of Vabalathus alone are rare, joint coins with Aurelian are quite common. Beware: Sometimes dealers will list only the name of Vabalathus when selling a jointly issued antoninianus! We saw an example of each type.
Mark concluded the program by crediting Roman Coins and Their Values by David Sear, Seaby Productions 1988 for information, and the Internet for retrieved photos.
Jay Galst died of COVID-19 April 11, age 69. Cheerful and outgoing, he was a friend to all; his passing leaves a huge void.
A collector of Judaica in general, and specifically ancient, medieval (Crusader), and modern coins of the Holy Land, he later specialized intensely in coins, medals, and tokens related to ophthalmology, co-writing with Peter G. van Alfen the definitive catalog on the subject, Ophthalmologia Optica et Visio in Nummis (American Numismatic Society, 2012). He was always willing to share his knowledge and items from his collection with other students of numismatics.
Jay was very active in organized numismatics beginning in the 1980s. He joined the New York Numismatic Club in 1981 (the same year I did) and was soon tapped to serve as Secretary-Treasurer, 1984-85; Vice President, 1986-87; and President, 1988-89. He was a member of the Club’s Board of Directors 1991-2000 and Chairman from 2001 until his death. By the Club’s centennial in 2008 he had been awarded an amazing 24 exhibit medals.
In the mid-1980s he also joined the less formal Bronx Coin Club, and was President of that society 1998-2006. And in August 1991 he attended the ANA 100th Anniversary Convention in Chicago, applying for membership in the Chicago Coin Club at its meeting there. After the usual month’s delay, he was accepted in September 1991, continuing his membership to 2020. We saw him at our meetings at the many ANA World’s Fair of Money conventions in Chicago from 1999 to 2019, and occasionally at other Chicago-area conventions at which the Club met.
Jay was a Life Fellow of the American Numismatic Society and a Life Member of the American Numismatic Association. For the ANA he worked as a district delegate and exhibit judge, and was honored for his services with their Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 2015. In 2014 he was voted a Numismatic Ambassador.
In 1980 Jay established a private ophthalmology practice in Manhattan, which became very successful, and joined the multi-location Omni Eye Services in 2016. He was an inaugural board member of the General Service and Strabismus Service of the Ophthalmology Faculty Practice of the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, where he was Senior Attending Surgeon. At the Icann School of Medicine of Mount Sinai he was Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, continuing to teach ophthalmology residents how to perform Strabismus surgery. An Honorary Surgeon of the New York Police Department, he was elected an officer of the Order of St. John and served on the Board of the Museum of Vision. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Cogan Ophthalmic History Society and chaired the Ocular History Society from 1989-90 and 2009-10.
But this summary gives barely a hint of Jay’s famous generousity. The New York Numismatic Club celebrated its centennial with a banquet at Keens Steakhouse, Friday, December 12, 2008. I flew out to attend the festivities, arriving three days early so that I could study the Crusader bezants in the ANS collection in preparation for my paper at the International Numismatic Congress in Glasgow the next year. Jay invited me to stay with him, and so I had his son David’s room in their lovely apartment, with its view of the Chrysler Building, illuminated at night. On Thursday Jay and Joann had tickets for a concert and they invited me to come along, obtaining one for me also. Of course I shared some expenses, but it was an experience I’ll never forget.
Robert D. Leonard Jr.
|CSNS Convention||Chicago Coin Company|
|Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.||Kedzie Koins Inc.|
Items shown at our April 8, 2020 meeting,
reported by John Riley.
|Date:||May 13, 2020|
|Time:||6:45 PM CDT (UTC-05:00)|
Visit our Online Meeting webpage, at www.chicagocoinclub.org/meetings/online_meeting.html, for all the details on participating in an online club meeting. Participation in an online meeting requires some advance work by both our meeting coordinator and attendees, especially first-time participants. Please plan ahead; read the latest instructions on the day before the meeting!
|Featured Program:||Robert Weinstein —
Coinage and History of the Apracas and the Indo-Parthians
The Indo Parthian Kingdom was founded in eastern Iran by a prince of the powerful Parthian clan Suren sometime in the last decades BC or early years AD. His name was Gondophares and he would create a powerful empire in northern India which, like so many in history, collapsed and fragmented upon his death. One of the most powerful contenders for the Indo Parthian kingdom seems to have been a prince from another dynasty, the Apracas. The Apracas ruled a small kingdom in what is now northen Pakistan. The history of both of these dynasties is primarily written in their coins. Please join Bob Weinstein at our May meeting for a talk on these two little-known kingdoms.
Unless stated otherwise,
our regular monthly CCC Meeting is
in downtown Chicago
online during the Covid-19 isolation era
on the second Wednesday of the month;
the starting time is 6:45PM CT.
|May||13||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert Weinstein on Coinage and History of the Apracas and the Indo-Parthians|
|June||10||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|July||8||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Gene Mitchell on Security Features on World Currency|
|August||4-8||ANA in downtown Pittsburgh. Admission is free for ANA members — for details, see http://www.worldsfairofmoney.com.|
|August||12||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|September||9||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - James McMenamin on to be announced|
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