No. Gleisdorf 89511
Date Range: AD 153/ 154
Material: Bronze
Description: Dupondius, Antoninus Pius for M. Aurelius Caesar, coined in Rome Obverse: bare-headed head to the right; Transcription: [AVRE]LIVS CAE/SAR [AUG PII FIL] Reverse: Minerva standing to the left with owl, spear and shield Transcription: [TR] POT III [COS II]
Provenance: vicus of Gleisdorf
Published in Lehner 1995, Nr. 61

  • Obverse of the coin
  • Reverse of the coin

The tradition to add a coin as a payment for the ferryman Charon, who delivers the dead over the river Styx into the Hades, came from the Greek world. The coin was placed in the mouth of the deceased and burnt with him. This Mediterranean burial custom is one of the few traditions, whose original meaning is known and because of that it is often taken as an indicator for Romanization.

(S.L.)

Bibliography

BMC 1960M.
Lehner, Münzen, in: Th. Lorenz et al. (Hrsg.), Der römische vicus von Gleisdorf. Bericht über die Ausgrabungen 1988-1990, VIAG 2 (Wien 1995), 61-64
M. Witteyer - P. Fasold (Hrsg.), Des Lichtes beraubt. Totenehrung in der römischen Gräberstraße von Mainz-Weisenau, Katalog zur Ausstellung (Wiesbaden 1995)

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