Author Topic: Celtiberian: AR Denarius of Bolskan  (Read 88 times)

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Offline Finn235

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Celtiberian: AR Denarius of Bolskan
« on: November 17, 2017, 10:43:06 PM »
Iberia, early Roman period (150-100 BC)
Bolskan (modern day Huesca in Aragon)
AR Denarius, 18mm, 3.69g
Bearded male head right, Iberian "BoN" behind
Horseman galloping right, welding lance, Iberian BoLSKaN in ex.

Before it was a Roman province, Hispania was colonized by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Celts between 800-200 BC. Carthage was the first to introduce the natives to written language and urbanization, and may have introduced coinage as well. Hispania played a crucial role in Carthage's invasion of Europe during the Second Punic War, and as a result all Carthaginians were forced from the Peninsula at the war's conclusion in 201 BC. The process of colonization was slow from that point, as the Senate saw very little gain from an organized campaign of conquest. Local governors were allowed autonomy, expanding through diplomacy and reactionary campaigns against local rebellions. The conquest was finally complete only under Augustus in 19 BC.

Bolskan was one of the more prolific Iberian mints during this period, and like many others, clung to its Punic cultural heritage. It was refounded as Osca in 37 BC.

Probably my favorite thing about this coin is the Iberic script, found only on a handful of coin types, and surviving as a modification of Phoenician to suit the unique structure of the indigenous language. In particular, I like the letter "Bo" that featured prominently as a six-sided star or asterisk!

Offline THCoins

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Re: Celtiberian: AR Denarius of Bolskan
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 02:05:11 PM »
Great coin and write-up !
Nice also to see that you do not stick to a few defined coin categories but dive into different subjects that interest you !

(Note to self: I have to buy some coins i like, but know nothing about again soon !  :))


Offline Figleaf

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Re: Celtiberian: AR Denarius of Bolskan
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2017, 11:28:52 AM »
Congratulations, Finn. That is indeed a fascinating coin. The curly hair reminds me of North Africa. The mounted lancer is reminiscent of a 17th century equivalent of the Franco era in aluminium, the whole looks pretty Roman and then you hit on the script... Great stuff!

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Alex

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Re: Celtiberian: AR Denarius of Bolskan
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 02:16:49 PM »
Oh, great review and a coin. Is the coin now in your collection?