Uh huh, let me backtrack just a little bit. I had just said something offhand about elephants, when my beloved said--
“You know what, Jim. Instead of writing about something nobody wants to read about [this collection of coins of Domitian as IMP], why don’t you just go ahead and write about that!”
“I should write about elephants?”
So, okay, I will do that, write about elephants. After I dedicate this blog, thank a few people, and explain a few things, I will go ahead and write something profound about elephants, so skip to the bottom if that’s what you’re here to read about.
This blog is dedicated to my son James and his lovely wife Michelle, the actual owners of the collection, in order that they can appreciate the value of what they own, and to the daughter of my heart, Maria de los Angeles. These are three intelligent non-specialists (non-specialists in Roman coins, though they do specialize in other things, except for Maria who is fourteen and who hasn’t started specializing yet, though chemical engineering appears to be the current thing). These three represent my target audience, as they are constantly on my mind anyway.
My hope also is that I might have something interesting to say to other collectors of ancient coins and to people interested in the last two decades of the first century.
I want to thank the authors of my (small-b) bibles, Profs Andrew Burnett and Ian Carradice. I will be referring to their books, Roman Provincial Coinage, vol. II, London, 1999, and Roman Imperial Coinage, vol II, 2nd ed., London, 2007, constantly in this blog as RPC and RIC. I wish to thank both of these gentlemen for their kindness and patience in answering my emails.
David Atherton, Brett Telford, and Alberto Tricarico are three individuals who have amassed outstanding private coin collections. I would like to thank all three for graciously allowing images of coins from their collections to appear as examples when my own collection proves inadequate.
My editor is Paula Tibbs, who has always taken a friendly interest in my writing. I thank her for that.
I also thank Paul Jennings, my web designer, and Tom Giles, my photographer, both of Eau Claire, Wisc., two artists of talent and ability. If you like what you see here, credit them; if you don’t, blame me.
Finally I would like to thank the Twin Cities Ancient Coin Club for reawakening a dormant interest. Our monthly meetings truly inspire me.
A word about rarity, RIC and RPC have both made their determinations, which I will be gratefully using here, and they each have their own indicators of rarity specific to each coin. RIC uses (R3), unique, (R2), (R), (C), (C2), and (C3), most common. RPC counts examples in prominent collections;  is extremely rare, not in any of the surveyed collections, and a higher number within brackets indicates a coin that is less rare.
My collection is in the process of being photographed. I will be adding ten photos per month, prioritizing the coins I will be using editorially in my blog articles and then filling in images of my favorite coins as I can fit them into the ten per month. With any luck a hundred years from now I will have published everything.
A new article will appear in this space every Saturday of the month. Here is a very loose schedule showing how I plan to do that--
First Saturday, I will write something interesting about a Roman mint issue or something interesting about the reign of Domitian as emperor.
Second Saturday, the Roman Coin of the Month from the Hazelton coll.
Third Saturday, something interesting about a provincial mint issue, something interesting about the provincial empire, or something interesting about the early Church.
Fourth Saturday, the Provincial Coin of the Month from the Hazelton coll.
Fifth Saturday, when there is one, something interesting about the world at large (for my lovely girlfriend), possibly something interesting about elephants, possibly something interesting about something not involving elephants. Actually, what follows is pretty much all I have to say concerning the fascinating subject of elephants!
Ahem. Why don’t they just surgically remove the tusks of all the elephants in Africa and use the revenue from the sale of the ivory to pay for elephant sanctuaries? That way the African countries could earn some money, people who want to buy ivory could do so legally, the elephants wouldn’t be poached for their tusks, and the entire world could enjoy African elephants till the end of time. Win, win, win, WIN! The only losers would be the poachers.
Jim Hazelton, curator of the Hazelton coll. comments--
"The weekly schedule has proven to be onerous. From now on I will be writing what I want when I want, and if I feel that an article contributes something important to the discussion about Domitian and his times and coinage I may leave it up longer for that reason. Thank you for reading."