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Early Coinage to 218 BCE


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Over a few hundred years, as the Roman Republic evolved from small town to small empire, its monetary system evolved from weighed bronze lumps (Aes Rude) to a bi-metallic, struck coinage. This album captures that period of intense development. By the early third century BCE, Rome began producing currency bars (Aes Signatum) which circulated as bullion, and heavy cast bronze coins (Aes Grave) which were subsequently issued in various series from circa 280 to 215 BCE. While the mint of Rome produced Aes Grave and Currency Bars, Italo-Greek cities to the south struck the first silver Didrachms and related bronze coins bearing the legend “ROMANO.” The Didrachm coinage was issued infrequently until circa 240 BCE, when the ROMANO inscriptions were replaced with ROMA and Didrachm production increased. Perhaps with the influx of silver from the Carthaginian’s indemnity following the First Punic War, Rome introduced the large issue of Quadrigati circa 225 BCE, though Quadrigatus production would eventually decentralize when the Second Punic War ensued.

24 files, last one added on Jul 20, 2019

Second Punic War (218-200 BCE)


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The immense financial pressure of defending Hannibal’s invasion of Italy, and subsequent successes, are reflected in periods of debasement, reform and renewal in the Republican coinage of the Second Punic War period. This album depicts the upheaval and rebirth. We see gradual reduction in the weight standard of the bronze coinage and debasement of the Quadrigatus silver coinage. The semilibral reduction in the bronze coinage occurs from 217-215 BCE and is soon followed by further weight reductions. Bronze overstrikes are common during this period as coinage of defeated regions are restruck by Rome (Roman overstruck on foreign) and as Rome reduced the weight standard of its bronze currency (Roman overstruck on Roman). Eventually, the monetary system is completely reformed with the introduction of the Denarius coinage of good silver, the Victoriatus coinage (of not such good silver!) and the so-called sextantal struck bronzes. This denarius system would continue with occasional changes for the next 450 years.

26 files, last one added on Jul 20, 2019

Second Century (199-100 BCE)


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During the second century BCE, we see Roman moneyers becoming progressively more independent, both in terms of type selection and messaging on the coinage. The office of moneyer was an important early rung on the Cursus Honorum - the imposed political path toward consulship and personal prestige.   Testing traditional constraints, moneyers gradually chose types and inscriptions to increase their name recognition and brand for future elected offices.  Early in the century we see standard types (Roma/Dioscuri or Bigati) paired with symbols, initials and abbreviated monograms.  By the close of the century, full names and creative devices (some focusing on a moneyer's illustrious ancestors) are common. This use of the coinage as a propaganda device would continue to expand in the next century.

21 files, last one added on Jul 15, 2019

Late Republic (99-49 BCE)


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By the first century BCE, the Republican coinage had fully-matured into a personal propaganda medium for politicians on the rise.  Many of these politicians sided with Marius or Sulla during their supremacy struggle, and the selection of coin types sometimes reflect those alliances.  The abilities of the mint were tested during the Social War crisis of 90 BCE, which required massive expenditure in coined money to put down.  By the close of this period, a new supremacy struggle echoing Marius and Sulla would emerge - that between Pompey and Caesar - which would plunge the Roman world into years of civil war and eventually end the Republic.

33 files, last one added on Aug 26, 2019

Imperatorial (49-27 BCE)


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This era of the Roman Republic is referred to as the "Imperatorial" period, because it is marked by the political and military struggle for supremacy among the premier generals ("imperator" in Latin).  It begins with Caesar crossing the Rubicon with his legion,  challenging and ultimately defeating Pompey.  In preparing for his next great military challenge against the Parthians, Caesar would produce coins bearing his own portrait and honors - the first Roman to do so - completing the evolution of personal propaganda on Republican coinage.  Caesar would be assassinated before his Parthian campaign could launch.  The next 20 years of Roman coinage depict and reflect the various protagonists and antagonists and their respective allies in the supremacy struggles among Caesarians, Republicans, Octavian and Antony.  Following the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium, Octavian (later known as Augustus) would at last emerge as undisputed master of Rome and the Mediterranean world . This marks the end of the Republican coinage, and the commencement of Imperial coinage.

37 files, last one added on Oct 09, 2019

 

5 albums on 1 page(s)

Last additions - Carausius's Gallery
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ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Brutus with Casca Longus, AR Denarius - Crawford 507/222 viewsRome, The Imperators.
Brutus with Casca Longus. 42 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.88g; 21mm).
Military mint, 42 BCE.

Obverse: CASCA LONGVS; Neptune's head facing right; trident below.

Reverse: BRVTVS IMP; Victory advancing right on broken scepter, holding filleted diadem and palm.

References: Crawford 507/2; HCRI 212; Sydenham1298 (R6); BMCRR (East) 63; Junia 44; Servilia 35.

Provenance: Ex V.L. Nummus Auction 12 (15 Sep 2019) Lot 68; Brüder Egger Auction 45 (12 Nov 1913) Lot 871.

Publius Servilius Casca Longus was one of the leading conspirators against Julius Caesar, and he was Tribune of the Plebs at the time of the assassination. Plutarch reports that a nervous Casca was the first to stab Caesar on the Ides of March with a glancing blow: “Casca gave him the first cut, in the neck, which was not mortal nor dangerous, as coming from one who at the beginning of such a bold action was probably very much disturbed. Caesar immediately turned about and laid his hand upon the dagger and kept hold of it. And both of them at the same time cried out, he that received the blow, in Latin, ‘Vile Casca, what does this mean?’ and he that gave it, in Greek, to his brother [Gaius] ‘Brother, help!’” [Plutarch: Lives of the noble Grecians and Romans, Arthur Clough (Ed.)] After Caesar’s assassination, Casca was given command of Brutus’ fleet. Nothing is known of Casca following the Battle of Philippi in October 42 BCE, where he likely perished or committed suicide in the aftermath.

The Neptune obverse refers to Casca’s naval command and the naval superiority of the conspirators before Philippi. Coins of the conspirators are replete with depictions of liberty and victory, and this coin is no exception. The reverse, with its broken scepter, clearly alludes to the assassins’ hope to eliminate monarchy in the Roman state and restore the Republic. Some authors have speculated that Victory is breaking the regal diadem on this type, although I don’t think that is abundantly clear.
7 commentsCarausiusOct 09, 2019
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ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Marc Antony, AR Denarius - Crawford 533/29 viewsRome, The Imperators.
Marcus Antonius. 43 BCE.
AR Denarius (4.07g; 18mm).
Military mint in Athens, Summer 38 BCE.

Obverse: M ANTONIVS M F M N AVGVR IMP TER; Antony in the priestly robes of an augur, standing right and holding lituus.

Reverse: III VIR R P C COS DESIG ITER ET TERT; Radiate head of Sol facing right.

References: Crawford 533/2; HCRI 267; Sydenham 1199; BMCRR (East) 141; Antonia 80.

Provenance: Ex Kentfield Coll. [Heritage Auction 3067 (9 Jun 2018) Lot 33340]; Michele Baranowski Auction (25 Feb 1931), Lot 1274.

In 50 BCE, Antony was appointed to the College of Augurs, an important group whose job was divining the will of the gods by interpreting auspices (birds and such) and providing advice based on these divinations. Antony was particularly proud of this appointment and referred to it frequently on his coinage, perhaps as a means of highlighting his traditional republican sensibilities. On this coin, he is depicted in full augur regalia. Sol on the reverse is a reference to The East, which Antony controlled per the renewal of the Second Triumvirate several months earlier. The inscriptions reference his augurship, second imperatorial acclamation, and designated second and third consulships. The coin was likely struck in Athens where Antony and Octavia were living after their marriage.
2 commentsCarausiusSep 16, 2019
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, M. Porcius Cato, AR Quinarius - Crawford 343/2b12 viewsRome, The Republic.
M. Porcius Cato, 89 BCE.
AR Quinarius (2.08g; 14mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: M.CATO; Liber head facing right wearing ivy wreath; rudder (control mark) below.

Reverse: VICTRIX; Victory seated left, holding patera in outstretched hand and palm over left shoulder.

References: Crawford 343/2b; Sydenham 597c; BMCRR (Italy) 677-93var (symbol); Porcia 7.

Provenance: Ex Elsen 141 (15 Jun 2019) Lot 152; Elsen List 60 (Oct 1983), Lot 37.

The precise identity of the moneyer is uncertain. Crawford believes the obverse head of Liber alludes to the Porcian Laws which broadened the rights of Roman citizens with respect to punishments and appeals. This issue of quinarii was huge, with Crawford estimating 400 obverse and 444 reverse dies. The obverse appears in two varieties: one with control marks below the head, and one without. The control marks include Greek and Latin letters, numbers and symbols.
4 commentsCarausiusAug 26, 2019
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, Roma/Wheel Series, Aes Grave Semis - Crawford 24/423 viewsRome, The Republic.
Roma/Wheel Series, c. 230 BCE.
AE Aes Grave Semis (103g; 49mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Bull leaping to left; S (mark of value) below.

Reverse: Wheel with six spokes; S (mark of value) between two spokes.

References: Crawford 24/4; ICC 67; Sydenham 60.

Provenance: Ex H.D. Rauch Auction 95 (30 Sep 2014), Lot 272; Tkalec 2006, Lot 93.

The Roma/Wheel Series of aes grave is an interesting series for its types. This Semis depicts a leaping bull, a device that would be used on later Republican struck bronzes with a snake below the bull (see Crawford 39/2 and 42/2). The wheel on the reverse of this series is previously unseen on Roman coinage. There were several series of Etrurian aes grave bearing spoked wheels produced in the 3rd century BCE (see HN Italy 56-67; ICC 145-190). It is unclear whether these Etrurian aes grave were inspired by or inspiration for the Roman wheel series.

This example is on the light side of reported weights in Haeberlin; however, as museums and collectors tend to favor heavier examples of Aes Grave, Haeberlin’s reported weight range (based on museum and major private collections) is likely “overweight” in heavier specimens.
2 commentsCarausiusJul 20, 2019
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, Janus/Prow Series, Aes Grave Semis - Crawford 35/215 viewsRome, The Republic.
Janus/Prow Series, circa 225-217 BCE.
AE Aes Grave Semis (135.3g; 52mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Laureate head of Saturn, facing left; S (mark of value) below neck; all on raised disk.

Reverse: Prow facing right; S (mark of value) above; all on raised disk.

References: Crawford 35/2; ICC 76; Sydenham 73; BMCRR 23-29.

Provenance: Ex Munzen und Medaillen GmbH, Auction 40 (4 Jun 2014), Lot 455; Auctiones AG Auction 13 (1983), Lot 505.

The prow series of libral Aes Grave was a very large issue. E.J. Haeberlin included over 300 examples of the Semis in the weight analysis within his monumental "Aes Grave". The Prow series Aes Grave was initially based on an As of about 270 grams. The iconography likely refers to the role of Rome's new and powerful navy in the victory over Carthage in the First Punic War. Both obverse and reverse iconography from the various denominations of this series would continue through the Republican struck bronze coinage.
1 commentsCarausiusJul 20, 2019
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, "Anonymous" Staff and Club Series, AE Semis - Crawford 106var16 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous Staff and Club Series, 208 BCE.
AE Semis (16.22g; 28mm).
Etrurian Mint.

Obverse: Laureate head of Saturn, facing right; S (mark-of-value) behind

Reverse: Prow right; S (mark-of-value) above; ROMA below.

References: Crawford106/5 var (no symbol above prow); McCabe Group E1.

Provenance: Ex Naville 48 (7 Apr 2019) Lot 326; Otto Collection [Hess (Dec 1931), Lot 822]; Niklovitz Collection [L. Hamburger 76 (19 Oct 1925), Lot 240].

In "Roman Republican Coinage", Michael Crawford recognized many silver “symbol” Republican series for which there were parallel “anonymous” types omitting the symbols. In his article “Unpublished Roman Republican Bronze Coins” (Essays Hersh, 1998), Roberto Russo noted that the parallel issue of anonymous silver coins to series with symbols applies equally to the bronze coins. (Essays Hersh, 1998, p. 141). Andrew McCabe takes this approach much further in his article “The Anonymous Struck Bronze Coinage of the Roman Republic” (Essays Russo, 2013) in which he links many of the anonymous Republican bronzes to symbol series based on precise style considerations. The takeaway from all this is that for many of the Roman Republican symbol series of the late Second Punic War and early 2nd Century BCE, there are parallel anonymous series identifiable by style. The rationale for these parallel issues is unclear, though possibly related to (a) governmental approvals for the issue or (b) mint control of the metal source from which the issue was struck or (c) workshop identification.

This coin is an anonymous version (missing symbol) of the Staff and Club Semis of the Crawford 106 series, produced in Etruria. It is identical in style to the Etrurian Staff and Club coins and only misses the symbols. Not surprisingly, these coins are commonly misattributed as Crawford 56 anonymous bronzes.
1 commentsCarausiusJul 20, 2019
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Julius, AR Denarius - Crawford 323/117 viewsRome, The Republic.
L. Julius, 101 BCE.
AR Denarius (4.0g; 20mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma, facing right; corn ear behind

Reverse: Victory in biga galloping right; L.IVLI below.

References: Crawford 323/1; Sydenham 585; BMCRR 1676; Julia 3.

Provenance: Ex Collection of a World War II Veteran; acquired July 1963 from Richard M. Muniz.

The moneyer was likely not a Caesar, though a member of the same Julia gens. Comparatively, just a few years earlier, in 103 BCE, an L. Julius Caesar struck coins with a prominent “CAESAR” inscription. The corn ear on the obverse may refer to a corn distribution, the purchase of which might have been the purpose of the coins.
1 commentsCarausiusJul 15, 2019
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ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, AR Denarius - Crawford 495/2d42 viewsRome. The Imperators.
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Octavian, 42 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.70g; 20mm).
Military Mint in Italy.

Obverse: LEPIDVS· PONT· MAX· III· V· R· P· C; bare head of Lepidus facing right.

Reverse: C· CAESAR· IMP· III· VIR· R ·P· C; bare head of Octavian facing right.

References: Crawford 495/2d; HCRI 140a; Sydenham 1323var (rev legend); Aemilia 35var (rev legend); BMCRR (Africa) 29-31var (rev legend); Banti & Simonetti 7 (this coin illustrated).

Provenance: Ex Leu Numismatik Auction 8 (30 Jun 2019) Lot 949; Bank Leu 7 (9 May 1973) Lot 317; Joseph Martini Collection [Baranowsky (25 Feb 1931) Lot 1273] and [Rodolfo Ratto Auction (24 Feb 1930) Lot 1334]; Rodolfo Ratto Fixed Price List (1927) Lot 629; Dr. Bonazzi Collection a/k/a Riche Collection [Rodolfo Ratto Auction (23 Jan 1924) Lot 1352].

This reverse die differs from most of this denarius issue in that the inscription begins with the initial “C” for Octavian's first name (Caius), while the remainder of the issue begins, simply, "CAESAR." The coins appear to celebrate the formation of the Second Triumvirate, although it is unclear why Lepidus did not also strike coins with Antony’s portrait.

This particular example appeared in a remarkable number of important Roman Republican coin sales between 1924-1931, including sales of the collections of Dr. Bonazzi and Joseph Martini.
4 commentsCarausiusJul 15, 2019
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous Post Semi-Libral AE Uncia - Crawford 41/1026 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous (Post Semi-libral Series), 215-212 BCE.
AE Uncia (7.87g; 24mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma facing right; pellet (mark-of-value) behind.

Reverse: Prow facing right; ROMA above; pellet (mark-of-value) below.

References: Crawford 41/10; McCabe Group A1; RBW 135.

Provenance: Ex Nomisma E-Live Auction 10 (18 Jun 2019) Lot 12.

This series is the second of the “prow” struck bronze series. It is most easily recognized by the left side of the prow device which has a clearly delineated edge, while on later series the left side of the prow appears to extend off the side of the coin. The series was issued during the Second Punic War and reflects the continued reduction in weight standard of the Roman bronze coinage during the conflict; this issue having occurred on the heels of the “semi-libral reduction” of 217-215 BCE. It would soon be followed by further weight reductions.
2 commentsCarausiusJul 11, 2019
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, Q. Marius, AE As - Crawford 148/117 viewsRome, The Republic.
Q. Marius, 189-180 BCE.
AE As (31.17g; 32mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of Janus; I (mark of value) above.

Reverse: Prow facing right; Q.MARI above; I (mark of value) to right; ROMA below.

References: Crawford 148/1; Sydenham 367 (R7); BMCRR 822; Maria 1.

Provenance: Ex Nomisma E-Live Auction 10 (18 Jun 2019) Lot 22; Bombarda Collection; NAC 9 (16 Apr 1996) Lot 587.

This is a particularly fine example of this scarce type. Not much is known of the moneyer beyond his coins. He is likely NOT an ancestor of Gaius Marius who would later serve seven consulships and challenge Sulla.
1 commentsCarausiusJul 11, 2019
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AE Litra - Crawford 27/27 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous, 230-226 BCE.
AE Litra (3.58g; 18mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Mars head facing right, beardless with Corinthian helmet; club behind.

Reverse: Horse rearing to right; club above; ROMA below.

References: Crawford 27/2; Sydenham 23a; BMCRR (Rom-Camp) 53.

Provenance: Ex Nomisma E-Live Auction 10 (18 Jun 2019) Lot 7; Numismatica Gino Marchesi.

This is one of the last series of struck bronzes issued by the Roman Republic before the introduction of standard "prow" types on the aes grave circa 225 BCE. Unlike many prior struck bronze issues, this coin is related to a contemporaneous issue of silver didrachms which bears the same devices and club symbol.
CarausiusJul 11, 2019
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, Q. Titius, AE As - Crawford 341/4d9 viewsRome, The Republic.
Q. Titius, 90 BCE.
AE As (14.45g; 27mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of Janus.

Reverse: Prow facing right; Q.TITI above; * (control) to right.

References: Crawford 341/4d; Sydenham 694b (R4); Banti 8 (R7); Titia 4.

Provenance: Ex Naville 50 (23 Jun 2019) Lot 386.

This coin has a few problems, but it is exceptional in several other respects that help overcome those problems. First, it is extremely fine, showing practically no actual wear with only a few areas of flatness due to strike and flan production flaws. Republican struck bronzes in EF are extremely rare. Second, it has an exceptional patina. Third, it bears a star control mark before the prow, making it one of the rarer varieties of Titius asses – Rarity 4 in Sydenham and Rarity 7 in Banti.
CarausiusJul 07, 2019
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ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Marc Antony, AR Denarius - Crawford 488/225 viewsRome, The Imperators.
Marcus Antonius. 43 BCE.
AR Denarius (4.19g; 19mm).
Military mint in Cisalpine Gaul.

Obverse: M.A[NTON IMP RPC]; Antony's bare, bearded head facing right; lituus behind.

Reverse: CAESAR DIC; Laureate head of Julius Caesar facing right; jug behind.

References: Crawford 488/2; HCRI 123; Sydenham 1166; BMCRR (Gaul) 55; Antonia 5-6.

Provenance: Ex Roma E-Live Auction 1 (25-6 Jul 2018) Lot 531; Bernard Poindessault Collection [Oger-Blanchet (17 Nov 2017) Lot 148]; Edouard Schott Collection [E. Bourgey (21 Mar 1972) Lot 337].

This is one of Antony’s earliest issues following the creation of the Second Triumvirate with Octavian and Lepidus. The titulature "RPC" (tip of "C" just barely visible beneath Antony’s portrait on this specimen) reflects the new status. Antony is depicted with a slight beard of mourning, as is Octavian on his coins until the defeat of the Tyrannicides at Philippi the following year. Both Antony and Caesar have symbols of the augurate behind their portraits, as both were members of the college of augurs, and this served to highlight their common bond. The somewhat comical portrait style is reflective of the military mint, with limited die engraver talent.
1 commentsCarausiusJul 07, 2019
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ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Antony Legion V Denarius22 viewsRome. The Imperators.
Marcus Antonius, 44-31 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.79g; 19mm).
Military Mint traveling with Antony, 32-1 BCE.

Obverse: ANT AVG III VIR R P C; galley facing right.

Reverse: LEG V; Aquilia between two standards.

References: Crawford 544/18; HCRI 354; Sydenham 1221; BMCRR (East) 196; Banti 75 (this coin); Antonia 110.

Provenance: Ex Kress 109 (24-25 Oct 1958), Lot 749.

Produced by Antony in the lead-up to his final defeat at Actium by Octavian’s navy (commanded by Agrippa), the legionary series was a huge issue that recognized 23 legions under Antony’s command. These coins would continue to circulate throughout the Empire for several centuries after Antony’s loss, partly because their notoriously debased silver discouraged hoarding. Thirty-seven examples of the LEG V variety appeared in the 1905 Delos hoard of 604 Antony Legionary denarii, making it one of the most common varieties of the series. However, an example with a verifiable old provenance, such as this coin, is quite rare.
2 commentsCarausiusJul 07, 2019
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AE Litra - Crawford 16/1a34 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous. 275-270 BCE.
AE Litra (9.89g; 22mm).
Southern Italian Mint.

Obverse: Nymph’s head, facing right, wearing diadem.

Reverse: Lion walking right, head facing; ROMANO in exergue.

References: Crawford 16/1a; Syd 5; BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 23-27; RBW 10; HN1 276.

Provenance: NAC 114 (7 May 2019) Lot 1241; Hoskier Collection [Hess (15 Feb 1934) Lot 543].

This is one of the larger issues of early Roman struck bronzes. Hoard evidence suggests a mint south of Rome. Fabric and style also support a South Italian mint, as the flan, which appears to have been cast with hemispheric molds that leave characteristic edge sprues, is typical of Neapolitan coins of similar age. The lion on the reverse is sometimes shown with a spear in its mouth and sometimes not. There is no spear evident on this coin. There does not seem to be any direct connection between this issue and contemporaneous silver issues. Connections to contemporaneous silver would be evidenced on later struck bronze coins by common devices and symbols (i.e. club and sickle series).
1 commentsCarausiusJun 14, 2019
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, L Series, AE As - Crawford 97/22a28 viewsRome, The Republic.
L Series. 211-208 BCE.
AE As (27.67g; 37mm).
Luceria Mint.

Obverse: Janus head; --- (mark of values) above; L below.

Reverse: Prow to right; ROMA below; I (mark of value) above.

References: Crawford 97/22a; RBW 417-419.

Provenance: Ex Ambrose Collection [Roma X (9 Sept 2015), Lot 659]; Bombarda Collection [Tkalec AG (8 Sept 2008), Lot 236].

Possibly over-struck, though the under-type is not attributable.

1 commentsCarausiusJun 14, 2019

Random files - Carausius's Gallery
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Antestius Gragulus, AE Quadrans - Crawford 238/3e11 viewsRome. The Republic.
L. Antestius Gragulus, 136 BCE
AE Quadrans (3.87g; 18mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of young Hercules wearing lionskin headdress, facing right; ●●● (mark of value), behind.

Reverse: Prow right; ●●● (mark of value), before; LANTES (NTE ligate) above; ROMA below.

References: Crawford 238/3e; RBW 983 (this coin illustrated); Sydenham 452d; BMCRR 981var (see note 1); SRCV-I 1142.

Provenance: Ex FORVM Ancient Coins; Andrew McCabe Collection; RBW Collection [NAC 61 (Oct 2011) Lot 979]; Goodman Collection [CNG 45 (1998) Lot 1536].

The moneyer is not known except for his coins. He may have been the son of C. Antestius who was moneyer in 146 BCE. Some of his quadrantes depict a jackdaw on the prow which was likely a pun on his name Gragulus. These quadrantes are quite rare, with Crawford reporting only 9 total examples in Paris of 5 different varieties.
Carausius
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, C. Piso Frugi, AR Denarius9 viewsRome. The Republic.
Caius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, 61-59 BCE
AR Denarius (3.98g; 18mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of Apollo facing right, hair tied with fillet or taenia; eagle head (control mark), behind.

Reverse: Horse and rider galloping right; C PISO L F FRV, below; grain ear in exergue.

References: Crawford 408/1b; Sydenham 841d; Hersh O-252/R-2060; Banti 196 (this coin illustrated); Calpurnia 24.

Provenance: Ex JD Collection [NAC 78 (26 May 2014) Lot 447]; ex A. Galerie des Monnaies Geneva (Nov 1976), No. 33.

Caius Piso Frugi, was the son of Lucius Piso Frugi who produced a huge coinage during the Social War in 90 BCE. Caius was son-in-law to Cicero, marrying Cicero’s daughter Tullia in 63 BCE. He was quaestor in 58 BCE, during which time he fought hard for repeal of Cicero’s exile. He died in 57 BCE, just before Cicero returned to Rome. Cicero thought very highly of him.

Crawford dated Caius’ coinage to 67 BCE, the year of his engagement to Tullia. The near mint state condition of Caius’ coins in the Mesagne Hoard caused Hersh and Walker to bring down the date of Caius’ mint magistracy toward the close of the hoard material, circa 61 BCE. In “Roman Republican Moneyers and Their Coins” (2nd ed.), Michael Harlan suggests a slightly later date of 59 BCE, which would be the latest possible date for the series given the hard dates of Caius’ quaestorship in 58 and death in 57.

With his coinage, Caius reissued the coin types of his father which allude to the celebration of the Ludi Apollinares instituted by Frugi's ancestor during the Second Punic War. These games were held at the Circus Maximus in July of each year and lasted 8 or 9 days, consisting of horse racing and performances.

While his father’s 90 BCE coinage was hurriedly and sloppily produced due to wartime exigency (dies were often used to the brink of destruction), Caius’ coinage was considerably well made – struck in high relief and good style. Reverse dies were convex – resulting in characteristic “cupped” reverses – to fully-strike the high relief obverses. Obverses are in two varieties: the first, with Apollo’s hair bound with a fillet or taenia; the second with his hair laureate. Hersh (1976) knew of 204 obverse dies. Laureate dies are considerably fewer than fillet/taenia dies. The reverses are quite varied, depicting the horsemen wearing various caps or capless and carrying whip, torch, palm or nothing. Hersh knew of 232 reverse dies. Obverse and reverse dies bear a series of control marks consisting of symbols, letters, Greek and Roman numbers and fractional signs. The obverse/reverse die links in the series are very random within the estimated three workshops, and are considered evidence for the “die box” method of die management by the mint officials.
Carausius
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ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Brutus with Casca Longus, AR Denarius - Crawford 507/222 viewsRome, The Imperators.
Brutus with Casca Longus. 42 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.88g; 21mm).
Military mint, 42 BCE.

Obverse: CASCA LONGVS; Neptune's head facing right; trident below.

Reverse: BRVTVS IMP; Victory advancing right on broken scepter, holding filleted diadem and palm.

References: Crawford 507/2; HCRI 212; Sydenham1298 (R6); BMCRR (East) 63; Junia 44; Servilia 35.

Provenance: Ex V.L. Nummus Auction 12 (15 Sep 2019) Lot 68; Brüder Egger Auction 45 (12 Nov 1913) Lot 871.

Publius Servilius Casca Longus was one of the leading conspirators against Julius Caesar, and he was Tribune of the Plebs at the time of the assassination. Plutarch reports that a nervous Casca was the first to stab Caesar on the Ides of March with a glancing blow: “Casca gave him the first cut, in the neck, which was not mortal nor dangerous, as coming from one who at the beginning of such a bold action was probably very much disturbed. Caesar immediately turned about and laid his hand upon the dagger and kept hold of it. And both of them at the same time cried out, he that received the blow, in Latin, ‘Vile Casca, what does this mean?’ and he that gave it, in Greek, to his brother [Gaius] ‘Brother, help!’” [Plutarch: Lives of the noble Grecians and Romans, Arthur Clough (Ed.)] After Caesar’s assassination, Casca was given command of Brutus’ fleet. Nothing is known of Casca following the Battle of Philippi in October 42 BCE, where he likely perished or committed suicide in the aftermath.

The Neptune obverse refers to Casca’s naval command and the naval superiority of the conspirators before Philippi. Coins of the conspirators are replete with depictions of liberty and victory, and this coin is no exception. The reverse, with its broken scepter, clearly alludes to the assassins’ hope to eliminate monarchy in the Roman state and restore the Republic. Some authors have speculated that Victory is breaking the regal diadem on this type, although I don’t think that is abundantly clear.
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AntCaesSchottCombined.jpg
ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Marc Antony, AR Denarius - Crawford 488/225 viewsRome, The Imperators.
Marcus Antonius. 43 BCE.
AR Denarius (4.19g; 19mm).
Military mint in Cisalpine Gaul.

Obverse: M.A[NTON IMP RPC]; Antony's bare, bearded head facing right; lituus behind.

Reverse: CAESAR DIC; Laureate head of Julius Caesar facing right; jug behind.

References: Crawford 488/2; HCRI 123; Sydenham 1166; BMCRR (Gaul) 55; Antonia 5-6.

Provenance: Ex Roma E-Live Auction 1 (25-6 Jul 2018) Lot 531; Bernard Poindessault Collection [Oger-Blanchet (17 Nov 2017) Lot 148]; Edouard Schott Collection [E. Bourgey (21 Mar 1972) Lot 337].

This is one of Antony’s earliest issues following the creation of the Second Triumvirate with Octavian and Lepidus. The titulature "RPC" (tip of "C" just barely visible beneath Antony’s portrait on this specimen) reflects the new status. Antony is depicted with a slight beard of mourning, as is Octavian on his coins until the defeat of the Tyrannicides at Philippi the following year. Both Antony and Caesar have symbols of the augurate behind their portraits, as both were members of the college of augurs, and this served to highlight their common bond. The somewhat comical portrait style is reflective of the military mint, with limited die engraver talent.
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