Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Austrian Mint Issues Next "Rome On The Danube" Silver Coin

September 8, 2010: The Austrian Mint will be releasing the 2nd in their fresh new series dedicated to various Roman cities along the Danube River. This latest issue, coming after the Virunium coin that started the series, is dedicated to Vindobona - the Roman military camp that grew to become Austria's capital city, Vienna!

Austria 2010 20€ Rome On The Danube Vindobona Silver Proof

The name Vindobona comes from the Celtic words for "blessed" and "base/bottom", and was presumably named for the geological position of the original Celtic settlement. Apart from growing to become the city we now know as Vienna, Vindobona is also noted for being the location of emperor Marcus Aurelius' death in March 180A.D. Remains of the Roman military camp have been found at many sites in the centre of Vienna, with over 3000 stamped bricks, several stone monuments and written sources proving that several legions, cavalry units and marines were stationed in Vindobona.

The obverse of the coin shows Marcus Aurelius on horseback in the legionary fortress of Vindobona. An officer of his imperial guard stands beside him, while another hands the emperor a scroll bearing an important message. In the background one of the double gates of the fort with its twin defensive towers can be seen; perhaps the porta decumana that opened up on the defensive ditch to the south, today’s Graben. The scene is based on an ancient marble relief depicting the Marcomanni Wars. The ragged edge at the top symbolises the border along the River Danube.

The reverse side shows a centurion proudly inspecting the soldiers of his centuria (nominally 100, but in reality 60-80 men) drawn up on the via principalis, the main road of the fortress crossing from east to west. In the background is the porta principalis dextra (the principal right-hand gate). The centurion wears a transverse crest on his helmet, a sign of his rank. The legionaries stand with their rectangular body shields holding the Roman spear or pilum.

This 20 euro coin, with it's intricately detailed designs, is struck to the Austrian Mint's stringent proof specifications, from 18 grams of 90% fine silver. Each silver coin is encapsulated and presented within an official Austrian Mint box, accompanied by an individually numbered Certificate of Authenticity confirming the mintage of only 50,000 coins struck.

The Rome On The Danube Collection Case, with room to house the entire series of coins may be purchased separately.

No comments: