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Faustus Cornelius Sulla
AR denarius. 56 BC. 4.05 g, 9h. Head of young Hercules right, wearing lion's skin headdress, paws knotted below his chin; SC above FAVSTVS monogram behind. / Globe surrounded by four wreaths, the larger jewelled and tied with fillet; aplustre and stalk of grain below. Crawford 426/4a. RSC Cornelia 61 .
This coin is one of ten million denarii that the Senate of Rome commissioned for the purchase of wheat in the year 56 BC. All those extra denarii, struck alongside the normal coin issues, bear the letters S.C for "Senatus Consulto" (by decree of the Senate) on their obverse, behind the head of Hercules. The ligated letters FAVS refer to the moneyer, Faustus Cornelius Sulla.

The ear of grain on the reverse illustrates that this denarius was indeed minted in connection with the purchase of wheat. Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, who transacted the business, was the father in law of the moneyer Sulla, and effectually used his son in law's position to advertise himself. Three of the wreaths on the reverse commemorate the three triumphs of Pompey: He was the first Roman to celebrate a triumph on each of the three then-known continents. With this Pompey had made Rome a world power, which is symbolized by the globe in the middle. The fourth wreath, larger than the others, stands for the extraordinary honor that Pompey was bestowed with in 63 BC, when he was allowed to wear a golden headdress when going to the circus or the theater.
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Pharsalos  [Sep 25, 2015 at 09:58 PM]
What a rare gem!
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