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ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Scribonius Libo, AR Denarius - Crawford 416/1c
Rome, The Republic.
Lucius Scribonius Libo, 62 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.76g; 20mm).
Rome mint.

Obverse: LIBO - BON EVENT; diademed head of Bonus Eventus facing right.

Rev: Scribonian well head, decorated with garland and two lyres; anvil symbol on top step; [P]VTEAL above; SCRIBON below.

References: Crawford 416/1c; Sydenham 928; BMCRR 3381; Scribonia 8.

This type was produced with at least four different reverse symbols on the top step of the well head: hammer, tongs, cap and anvil. The hammer is extremely common, tongs scarce, and the anvil and cap are the rarest of the four reverse symbols on the type. Previous authors, including Crawford and Michael Harlan, have not recognized the cap variety which is distinct from the anvil by its domed top. The anvil is squared, as on this coin.

The moneyer may have been Lucius Scribonius Libo, who was the father-in-law of Sextus Pompey, son of Pompey the Great. He took the side of the tyrannicides in the Civil War after Caesarís death. He later deserted Sextus Pompey and was elected consul in 34 BCE. Itís also possible that the moneyer was the father of this later consul.

The Scribonian well head was in the Roman Forum and designated a sacred spot that had been struck by lightning. Grueber and Crawford suggest that the reverse symbols, of which they only recognized three (see above), were actual decorative devices on the four-sided wellhead, and that they allude to Vulcan, whose thunderbolt had struck the spot. The added cap symbol confirms their analysis and is also consistent with the Vulcan theme.
File information
Album name:Carausius / Late Republic (99-49 BCE)
File Size:1840 KB
Date added:Dec 07, 2018
Dimensions:3544 x 1736 pixels
Displayed:26 times
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shanxi  [Dec 07, 2018 at 03:06 PM]
Lovely coin
Jay GT4  [Dec 07, 2018 at 08:57 PM]
Nice one
Steve B5  [Dec 11, 2018 at 01:16 AM]
Carausius, My first ancient coin was a denarius of L. Scribonius libo (Hammer symbol), purchased in 1978. Although the series is now on the fringes of my collecting focus, I still own it and it has sentimental value to me so I always look for the more scarce reverse symbol varieties and have recently bid (unsuccessfully) on one with an anvil. Yours is a very admirable example.