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Profile versus facing Portraits


jlueke
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Lydian satraps, Macedonian God-Kings, and Roman Emporer were represented in profile on coinage as were most deities. Then (was it aorund 400 with that chubby faced guy?) the portraits switched to facing images that become common in the Byzantine series. Why did this happen?

 

In Europe (at least England/France) the pennies started out facing (because of the Byzatines?) and then switched to profile later. Why the switch this time, Renaissance revival and a copy of better looking art?

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In Europe (at least England/France) the pennies started out facing (because of the Byzatines?) and then switched to profile later.  Why the switch this time, Renaissance revival and a copy of better looking art?

 

Maybe you are starting your premise a little too late on the time line Jorg. Celtic coinage of both the Brits and the Gauls started off in profile. See for example this coin (circa 80 -50 BC) of the Aedui tribe from the Bourgogne which I just got outbid on :ninja: .

 

 

 

Coinage styles have changed for various reasons, mainly to either associate with or differentiate from other types.

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I guess my primary interest lies in what were the specifics for the profile changes, especially for the Romans and then later the Europeans.

 

To associate and differentiate from otehr types is likely correct, but WHY did they feel the need to differentiate at that moment in time? :ninja:

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I guess my primary interest lies in what were the specifics for the profile changes, especially for the Romans and then later the Europeans. 

 

To associate and differentiate from otehr types is likely correct, but WHY did they feel the need to differentiate at that moment in time?  ;)

 

I would think that, as with all things, they do it because it can be done, until doing it another way does `it' better. Technology, knowhow...purpose. All these things change and i suppose patterns of frontal image / profile / frontal etcetera reflect those societal changes. There may be a pattern but i suspect that the little fish follow the big fish until such time as they wish to be seen to `differ' (for whatever reason).

 

If you want the nymph `Larissa' retain her beauty, then you would have to take all the coinage out of circulation after a few monthss because her nose gets worn so fast that she looks more like a proboscis minkey than a nymph. So doing her feature `frontal' was not for practicality but as a statement of pride and ability (and prosperity). When you go from coinage as an art form and display of `we do it because we can' to coinage as being a commodity we see `durability' playing a part. When we see a thorough depreciation in value ()as per late Byzantine)I think we see a deterioration in purpose to being even more `cost effective;' hence from a featured `profile' to a featureless` frontal'. It has gone from being a prideful expression of `indentity' to a base metal `commodity'. Of course, | could be wrong.... :ninja:

 

Ian The Cinical

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