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the government, weighed two drachms, and riably present the profile ; those of Grecian was equal to no more than fifteen shillings cities of high antiquity, and Roman consular of our money: during the time of the five coins, on the contrary, have specimens of full first Cæsars they continued didrachmi; but faces; and there are instances of others, on the avarice of succeeding emperors induced which several busts have been introduced, them to reduce their weight considerably, particularly a beautiful gold one of Ptolemy which was restored by Domitian and Aure. Philadelphus, who introduced the heads of fian. It was under Philip that aurei of se- bimself and Arsinoe on one side, and those veral sizes first appeared, those bear the of Ptolemy I. and Berenice, his parents, bust of the genius of Rome on one side, and on the other. Two or more heads have different objects on their reverses; the in. been impressed, in some cases grouped and elegance of the workmanship induces a sup- looking the same way, and in others they position that they were made far from the are placed face to face; the reverses on seat of the arts. Mr. Pinkerton is inclined those having nothing remarkable to distin. to think, the only alteration made in the guish them; but the most rare and valuable Roman money by Aurelian was confined to coins contain three heads. the gold. At the commencement of the The vitta, or diadem, which resembles a coinage of gold, the aureus was divided into modern riband tied round the head by a the semissis of sixiy sestertii; the tremissis, graceful knot, with the extremities foating or third, of forty; another division of thir- in the air, is the distinctive emblem of a ty; and a sixth or scrupulum of twenty; all prince throughout the Greek medals ; and of which were discontinued except the se. it was imitated by some of the Roman ma. missis or half of the aureus.
gistrates; but the popular prejudice was so There is no part of the study of medals great against this badge of supreme authoand coins more interesting than that of the rity, that their emperors thought proper to class bearing portraits or busts of eminent wear the radiated crown full 200 years bepersons ; of those, the Macedonian are the fore they ventured to resume it." In the first so distinguisherl; and it has been usual family of Constantine,” says Pinkerton, to begin the series with Alexander I., who “the diadem becomes common, though not reigned 500 years before the Christian era, with the ancient simplicity; being ornaor 2,308 years past; as his coin is the most mented on either edge with a row of pearls ancient yet discovered. Next to the mo. and various other decorations.” The crown, narchs of Macedon, follow the kings and composed of branches of laurel, was an emqueens of Sicily, Caria, Cyprus, Heraclia blem of conquest when first adopted, as and Pootus; to which succeed the kings was the radiated crown a mark of dei. of Egypt, Syria, the Cimmerian Bosporus, fication originally; but each were after. Thrace, Bythinia, Parthia, Armenia, Da- wards assumed on their medals by ambi. mascus, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Perga- tious and presumptuous emperors; in mus, Galatia, Cilicia, Sparta, Pæonia, Epi. those of the lower empire, a hand is shewn rus, Illyricum, Gaul, and the Alps, includ- holding the laurel above the liead, which ing a period of nearly 350 years, or from disposition of it was considered a mark of the time of Alexander the Great to the piety. birth of Christ. According to Pinkerton, The rostral crown, made of gold, and re" the last series of ancient kings goes down sembling the prows of gallies connected, to the fourth century, and includes some of was exhibited by Agrippa on bis coins, who Thrace, the Bosporus, and Parthia ; those also appears in the mural, assigned to those of Commagene, Edossa, or Osrhsene, that distinguished themselves in first scaling Mauritania, and Judæa." The above are the walls of a besieged city; the crown of the series of portraits of kings impressed oak branches, considered as a civic one, on medals which have Greek characters; was adjudged to him who saved the life or many are extant of eminent men, on coins lives of citizens; this frequently appeared of Greek origin.
on reverses, and particularly on the coins The series of Roman emperors is com. of Galba, Grecian princes adopted the plete, from Julius to the destruction of crown of laurel, and added it to the dia. Rome by the Goths; after the latter pe- dem; and the kings of Parthia wore drariod the execution of the heads became pery folded round the head, and over their very bar barous. The Greek coins, bearing hair curled in several ranges. The kings their kings, generally exhibit them with dia of Armenia had the tiara, the ancient dems, and no other ornament; and they inva. eastern badge of imperial power; and Juba, the father, is shown in a conic cap set with common to their time, their religious cere. pearls.
monies, the insignia of their magistrates, The vanity of the successors of Alexan- are given with so much troth, that, added der the Great was conspicuous in each of to the historical events they were intended their emblems, which induced them to take to record, it is impossible to feel indifferent the lion's skin of Hercules; the horn, as a when viewing them ; exclusive of these, badge of their power, or probably as an in. they furnish matter for curiosity, as sketches timation that they were the successors of of various branches of natural history, by the pretended son of Jupiter Ammon; and the representations of animals and plants. the wing, as a symbol of the rapidity of their A sufficient number of medals has been military successes, or their descent from preserved, of each age, to observe the proMercury; the helmet is besides sometimes gress of taste in decorating them, and it apperceived on the heads of coins, particu- pears that the most ancient are without any larly in the instances of Alexander and Con- other mark on the reverse, beyond the instantine I.
denting of the instrument on which the The Grecian queens have the diadem, metal was supported when impressing the and the generality of those of Egypt the obverse; those are four points calculated sceptre; in some cases placed near the up- to secure it firmly: the deformity thus ocper part of the head, and in others trans- casioned did not pass unnoticed by the arversely behind the neck; but the Roman tist and his employer, and invention sugempresses never had the diadem: the most gested the insertion of small fish or animals remarkable part of the head-dress of the between the points, which were gradually ladies of the latter nation, was the golden improved upon, till the difficulty was enornament called the sphendona, worn on tirely removed, and the figures became the crown of the head, and sufficiently beantiful, correct, and highly-finished perlarge to be noticed on a medal; the hair formances, that will bear critical examinawas dressed as fashion dictated, and the tion, even furnishing studies for the proporemblematic figure of a crescent sometimes tions and muscles of men and animals. The accompanied the bust of an empress. reverses of some Greek medals of great an
When the toga is exhibited drawn over tiquity are concave, and the obverses in a the head, the person so represented bore few instances are convex, and the time at the pontificate or the augurship; the veil, which the engravers of their dies became the sign of consecration, is common on the adepts in their art, and capable of making coins of empresses ; but those coins are a complete reverse, was about 500 years rare and valuable on which emperors are before Christ. The Romans, sensible of presented in this manner. The more mo- their inferiority to the Greeks in this parti. dern saints have now usurped the nimbus cular, had the good sense to invite skilful or glory with which ancient monarchs persons to Rome, where they executed the adorned their heads. “Havercamp gives a best Roman medals, and taught the artists singular coin, which has upon the reverse of of that nation to emulate their excellence. the common piece, with the head of Rome, None of the above, or Etruscan coins, have VR BS-ROMA, in large brass, Constantine 1. been discovered, which are globular, or sitting amid victories, and genii, with a tri- with an indented reverse similar to those ple crown upon his head, for Europe, Asia, already mentioned; the earliest Greek speand Africa: legend SECURITAS ROMÆ.” cimens are universally of silver, whereas the
The most usual method of exhibiting por. Roman are of copper, cast in moulds, and traits on ancient coins was by the busi; but large, in which they greatly differ from the there are instances of half lengths, and even diminutive size of the Greek. more of the person, in which case the bands The Romans seem at first to have been are frequently introduced holding emblems very deficient in composing their reverses, of power.
and by no means profited by the rich ex. The reverses of medals present an infinite amples before them: it is, indeed, difficult variety of subjects; consequently they afford to account for the constant aniformity and a proportionate degree of pleasure in the stu- repetition of cars, and prows of gallies, that dy of them ; indeed there is scarcely any pe. prevailed till very nearly the Christian era, culiarity in the manners, dresses, or religion after which period a variety occurs; and of the ancients, which they do not serve to during the reign of the emperors they made illustrate and explain; the habits and sym- ample amends for their previous neglect of bols of their deities, the allegorical allusions this side of the medal. Mr. Pinkerion observes very justly," that the medallist mnch the centre of the medal they are called the values those which have a number of figures, inscription; and when they are separated as the puellæ faustinianæ of Faustina, a from the figure by a line near the bottom, gold coin no larger than a sixpence, which they are on the exergue. The varieties and has twelve figures; that of Trajan, regna abundance of legends, &c. precludes a posadsignata, has four; the congiarium of Ner. sibility of entering into their merits and peva, five; the allocution of Trajan, seven; of culiarities; some being merely explanatory, Hadrian, ten; of Probns, twelve.” There cannot be subject either to censure or critiwas a felicity of thought, and a happy mode cism; others impute virtues, and convey of conveying a compliment, adopted by compliments well deserved; but it may those who struck medals at the time now justly be doubted, whether the majority do under notice, which was accomplished by not speak every language except that of giving the representation of a virtue, and truth. One specimen may serve to convince calling it that of the person commemo- the most incredulous on this head: Julia, rated; in this particular the Romans differ. the consort of Severus, was termed mat. ed greatly from the Greeks; the latter peo- AVGG. MAT. SENAT. MAT. PAT., or, the paple uniformly pointed out the effigies of rent of Augustus, the senate, and of her their gods and genii by their generally re- country; but Tiberius became blasphemous, ceived emblems; but the former inscribed as far as blasphemy could be said to exist their names. It is entirely useless to par- in the heathen mythology, by calling him. ticularize the deities and their insignia ; but self the divi filius. However wanting these in order to facilitate the study of medals, it legends and inscriptions might be in verity, may be proper to mention some of the they must be allowed the merit of beautisymbols which are not commonly known; ful simplicity in their construction, and the branches of plants issuing from vases, for most elegant compression. instance, imply a reference to religious We have hitherto treated the subject of games ; the serpent springing from a coffer coins and medals conjointly, which was in denotes the mystic rites of Bacchus ; the a great degree unavoidable, through the sianchor on medals infers that they are Se milarity of each to the other; for though a leucian, and struck at Antioch; the tripod coin may be said to be merely intended as was placed, by the Syrian princes, covered a circulating medium, calculated to preand uncovered under the figures of their vent the difficulties attending the bartering deities; to which may be added others, in of commodities, yet it has been customary the words of Mr. Pinkerton : “ the flowers from time immemorial to impress figures on of pomegranates, for Rhodes; owl, for the pieces of metal used for this purpose, of Athens ; pegasus, for Corinth ; wolf's head, equal import with those stamped on medals for Argos; bull's head, for Bæotia ; mino- intended solely as historical records, or as taur's head, and the labyrinth, for Crete,” adulatory offerings to supreme power. &c. &c. Were we to pursue this part of Medallions were made of dimensions far the subject, it would lead to an incredible too large for circulation as money, which length of investigation, and it may be was necessary in order to give due effect to doubted whether many mistakes might not the design, and to render it intelligible at be created through the obvious obscurity first view; some were struck as patterns of involving it.
proposed coins; others were issued at the The legends on coins and medals are of commencement of a new reign, and on re. too much importance to require a recom- markable occasions; and in some instances mendation of their study; the earliest coins they may have been the effects of caprice of Grecian cities have either the initials, or of men in high authority; and in a few their names at length; and those of the cases, of gratitude. It is usnal to consider princes of that country, their names, initials, as medals, all those Roman pieces which or monograms. The imperial medals of exceed the denarius aureus in size; those of Greece and Rome are distinguished by me- silver, larger than the denarius; and those thods far more explanatory, as they have of brass, which are of greater diameter than words rond the face, the reverse, and even the sestertius; but Mr. Pinkerton is of opi. in the centre of the latter in some cases. nion, “ that the gold medallions, weighing Medallists have divided the inscriptions two, three, or four aurei only, passed in into three terms, suited to the place of the currency, as the Greek gold didrachms, tri. words ; when they encircle the margin they drachms, or tetradrachms, according to are called the legend; when they occupy their size. The like may be said of the silter, which are commonly of the value of a made by order of an Englishman, and stampGreek tetradrachm: they, I have little ed on brass, most probably in Italy, was one doubt, went in currency for four denarii.” found in Knaresborough forest, in the sevenThe brass medallions have the greatest va: teenth century, which bears a bust with riety of devices on their surfaces, and are the legend 10. KENDAL RHODI TVRCVPELexecuted in a style of superior excellence. LERIVS. MCCCCLxxx. on the obverse, and on Greek pieces of the above description, the reverse his family arms, and TEMPORE made before the Roman einpire, are ex- OBSIDIONIS TVRCORVM. MCCCCLxxx. It is tremely rare; but Greek medallions of ko. singular, that the vast variety of important man emperors are far niore numerous than events which have occurred in England, the Roman. After the reign of Hadrian, should have passed away without suggesting the medallions of that country are sel- this method of perpetuating their rememdom found to be of tine workmanship, yet brance, and that an example should have they are invaluable for their rarity, variety, been set to our monarchs by a knight of and the intelligence of their devices; these Rhodes, who was more affected by the rais. circumstances render them very high. ing of the siege of that island by the Turks, priced.
than Edward III. was by his deeds in Besides the superior class of medallions, France. Henry VIII., one of the least there are others, particularly of a size be- worthy of the kings of England, caused a tween the first and second brass, which the medal to be struck in 1545, which is of conItalians call medaglioncini, and Mr. Pinker- siderable diameter, and of gold; the leton, medalets, and tokens, and counters, gends of this second British medal are three each proceeding from a variety of canses in number, and are inserted one within the occurring in the Roman dominions. The other on the obverse, inclosing his head and contorniatii, another kind, are so termed face in front; the reverse has two inscripfrom the hollow circle round them; those tions, in the Hebrew and Greek languages, are large as medallions, thin, and of inferior which signify his being the defender of the execution, and have afforded much latitude faith, head of the church, &c. The first for conjecture as to the purpose for which coronation-medal was that made by order they were intended.
of Edward VI., the son and successor of We were under the necessity of dwelling Henry, whose medal just described served on the foreign coins and medals of antiquity in every respect for a model. Very little to a considerable extent, tliat the subject can be said in commendation of the execumight be fully understood, as we are wholly tion of these pieces ; neither are those of indebted to the ancients for the invention Elizabeth much better, with the exception of money, and even for our designs in many of one or two. Though earlier in point of instances. It appears from the account of time, Philip and Mary were more fortu. Britain, written by Cesar, that the inhabi- nate in the selectiou of their artists, partitants at that period bad brass and iron mo- cularly Trozzo, who did two in silver for ney, the use and coinage of which was pro- those monarchs, of high relief. Richard bably derived from our Gallic neighbours. Shelly, Prior of the order of St. John of Je. Cunobelin, to whom many ancient coins rusalem, in England, oue of the last who found in England have been ascribed, was presided at Clerkenwell, caused one to be educated in the court of Augustus, and struck in the reigu last mentioned, which King of the Trinobantes: those are supposed deserves praise, to be the only extant, purely English, of Charles I. a good judge of the arts, exwhich there is an admirable collection in ceeded his father, James I. in the excel. our national museum; the legends of them lence of his medals ; tbat dated 1636, repreare generally cvno, and TASCIA, and CaMv; senting the King and Henrietta Maria, is the first seems to apply to Cunobelin, the finely executed, particularly the heads. second has never been explained, and the “ The reverse," observes Mr. Pinkerton, third may be Camudolanum; the devices “represents Justice and Peace kissing, awk. are a horse, an ear of wheat, and a bust, ac wardly enough.” “The tout ensemble of companied by the abbreviation Cuno, on the piece however is bad, and quite unlike one side, with a variety of emblems on the the antique ; the standard of perfection in other, and Camu.
this way, owing to the field of the medal English medals, intended entirely as such, not being above a line thick, while the were never struck in the ancient periods of relievos are a full balf iuch in thickness : our history, and the first kuown to have been whereas, in the best and boldest ancient medallions, the edge of the piece is two or and on the reverse she is shewn seated in a three lines thick, where the relief is three chariot, giving the rein to two horses which or four. A bollowness is, indeed, given in are drawing it at full speed, the legend the ancient to the inner field around the Forlunam Cuusamque seguor ; and on the relief, both to give more elevation and exergue, Deceptis Custodibus, MDCCXIX. boldness, and that the edge may something Another medal was struck by him on the protect the subjects of the field.” The birth of his eldest son; this exhibits the busts medals of Charles would, without doubt, of the Prince and Princess, with the legend have exceeded all others made by his pre- Jacob. III. R. Clementina R.; and the redecessors, in a very great proportion, had verse has the lady supporting the child on his politics been more successful: still they her left arm, which rests on a pillar, an emdeserve approbation; though Simon, em- blem of constancy, the right hand extendployed by the Commonwealth and Crom- ed points to a globe, presenting England, well, soon after his death surpassed them. Scotland, and Ireland, with the legend Had this celebrated artist received the pa- Providentia Obstetrix ; the exergue, Carolo tronage of the dethroned monarch, in a Princ. Vallia, Nat. Die ultima, A.M.DCC.XX. state of peace, the correctness of his judg- To return from this digression to the time ment and experience must have produced of James II. That weak and unpopular king most superb pieces, which would probably either caused or permitted malignant mehave rivalled those of the Greeks when in dals to be circulated satirizing Monmouth's the zenith of their fame.
rebellion, and exulting in his death; the Charles II. had several good medals, par. legends on those was Purum successit feci ticularly the three struck on his leaving sedulo; superi risere; Caput inter nubila; Holland, at the Restoration, and at his Proridentiu improvidentia, &c. The reign Coronation. Catherine of Portugal, his of William III. was productive of a series consort, decorates some, one of which has of most uncommon events, each of which her head, and on the reverse Pietute made admirable subjects for medals ; indeed Insignis. Mr. Walpole communicated to his birth was celebrated by the striking of Mr. Pinkerton, from Vertue's manuscripts, one, representing his mother on the obverse, an account of a rare and singular medal, and himself in childhood on the reverse. made by command of this licentious mo.
After his accession to the throne of narch, representing the Duchess of Ports. laud, he had his own bust and that of mouth on the obverse, and Cupid on a Queen Mary almost universally placed on wool-pack on the reverse ; besides the the obverses of his medals, particularly in above there are the Furente Deo; the Pro those known by the following legends; the talibus ausis; and the Felicitas Britanniæ. Ataius par nobile ; Atarum pro libertate; The same author adds, “ The short reign of Nec Lex est justior ulla ; Nisi tu quis teneJames II. has several medals. The most purit ignes, &c.: others, which have the . remarkable are the Nemo me impune laces- king's bust alone, are the Apparuit et dissiset; that with his queen, Fortes Radii sed parit ; the Gul. Nass. in Torbay, 8c.; the Benigni; those on the Pretender's birth, Victis ac fugatis Hibernis ; the Imperium Felicitas Publica. Others have Orbata luce pelagi nobis; the Nunquam impune lacessi. lucidum obscurat; Magnis interdum purr tus, &c. nocent; Pro glandibus durcu poma."
Equally fortunate and prolific in great The Pretender, though unsuccessful in his events was the reign of Anne. This Queen, attempts to regain the throne of his fore- illustrious in virtue, perpetuated the vicfathers, and an exile to the hour of his tories achieved by her armies, under the death, was still so much of an Englishman as incomparable Duke of Marlborough, in a to require notice in this article, particularly regular series of medals ; but here we are as his history is a collateral branch of that compelled to cease. Although the subsequent of England: this Prince caused a medal to history of this country furnishes repeated be struck by the Papal medallist, Hame- occasions for a rich display of medallions, rani, on the occassion of his intended con. they have nearly been passed unnoticed in sort's escape from the arrest procured by this particular; and most of the medals we the English minister at Vienna, and which possess, of modern execution, have been took place in the Tyrol, on lier way to the struck by private persons, sometimes to Pretender. The lady was represented on honour the memory of worthy men, but the obverse by her bist, with the legend generally to procure present emolument: Clementina M. Britan. Fr. & Hib. Regina ; in the latter class, may be included Dassier,