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ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, L. Valerius Acisculus, AR Denarius - Crawford 474/5
Rome, The Republic.
L. Valerius Acisculus, 45 BCE.
AR Denarius (4.17g; 22mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Radiate, draped head of Sol facing right; pick-axe and ACISCVLVS behind

Reverse: Luna in biga galloping right; L. VALERIVS in exergue.

References: Crawford 474/5; HCRI 94; Sydenham 1002; BMCRR 4110; FFC 1171 (this coin illustrated); Valeria 20.

Provenance: Ex Jose Fernandez Molina Collection [Aureo & Calico Alba Longa Auction (7 Nov 2018) Lot 716]; NAC 18 (29 Mar 2000) Lot 337.

L. Valerius Acisculus issued an interesting series of types in 45 BCE. Not much is known about the moneyer except that he was also a Tribune of the Plebs. The pick-axe on obverse of these types is a punning allusion to the moneyer’s name, as the Latin word for pick-axe is “acisculus”. Scholars have long debated the meanings of the other devices, some going to great lengths to argue connections to the moneyer’s family. However, more recently, Crawford and Sear both concluded that the types likely allude to Julius Caesar’s military successes against Pompey and in the East. The obverse of this coin, in particular, is likely a nod to Caesar's eastern victories, with Sol's cult having a strong eastern following.

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