An exceptional rendering of six togate Demoi
Lot 147
PONTUS. Neocaesarea. Septimius Severus, 193-211. Tetrassarion (Bronze, 28 mm, 19.01 g, 1 h), CY 141 = 204/5. AY K Λ CЄΠ CЄYH[POC] Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Septimius Severus to right, seen from behind. Rev. [K]O[I]NON Π NЄOKAIC MH[TPO] / ЄT PMA Male togate figure standing facing, holding a scroll and with two attendants standing behind him; to left and right, two other togati, who are reasoning with the central figure and one of which is holding a scroll; on the left, another togatus is bending over, holding a scroll. BMC -. Çizmeli -, cf. pl. IX, 112 (for Caracalla, same reverse die). Martin - (but we would like to thank Dr. Katharina Martin for her valuable contributions to the discussion of this issue in correspondence with this cataloguer). SNG Copenhagen -. SNG Leypold -. SNG Righetti -. SNG von Aulock -. Unpublished and of great interest. Patina stripped and with light pitting, otherwise, very fine.

This remarkable reverse type shows a group of six togate men engaged in a heated discussion: a central figure dominates the group, with two attendants standing behind him, while two other figures are trying to win him over to their side with their arguments; the one on the left is pointing to the right; the one on the right places his right hand on the shoulder of the central figure; on the far left, another figure is bending over from behind to follow the discussion. It is noteworthy that the reverse composition finds its parallels in another issue of Neocaesarea, where the Tyche of Neocaesarea is seated as a central figure and is surrounded by five other Tychai (Cf. Çizmeli 50-53, although the majority of the existing examples of this type are modern cast forgeries, unfortunately), most likely those of the neighboring cities Amaseia, Comana, Sebastopolis, Sebasteia and Zela. Our coin, however, which is unpublished but whose reverse is known from two worn coins struck from the same reverse die for Caracalla (Çizmeli 112), probably shows the Demos of Neocaesarea surrounded by the Demoi of Amaseia, Comana, Sebastopolis, Sebasteia and Zela. Whether those issues refer to a specific event such as the meeting of the Pontic Koinon is unclear (although the fact that the issue with the Tychai is dated to 205/6, not 204/5 as this coin, speaks against it), but it is certainly worth noting that the Demoi are togati, which emphasizes Pontus' close relations to Rome, as the toga is the sign of a Roman citizen and the constitutio Antoniniana was still a decade away.
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