VRB VIC OSCA



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VRB VIC OSCA Urbs Victrix Osca. The monetary triumvirs of Osca are almost always designated by surnames only; hence it is impossible from their coins to ascertain thier respective families. The Oscenses uniformly stamped their medals with the figure of a man on horseback, wearing a helmet, holding a lance, and riding at full speed. That Osca was a place of great riches is shewn by the argentum oscense (its silver bullion), to which Livy more than once alludes. But the argentum oscense differs from the bigati in this respect, that the latter signify silver coined by the Romans, either at Rome or in the provincesl whereas argentum oscense is applied to money struck in Spain and in the city of Osca, having, moreover, Spanish types. Accordingly Livy afterwards distinguishes those particular coins from Roman denarii.

There are five varieties of autonomous coins belonging to this once celebrated town: one of these bears a bearless head of a man, and in the field URBS VICT; on the reverse is a horseman galloping with a couched spear. The Imperial series coins of Osca extend from Augustus to Tiberius, Germanicus, and Caligula; all with the equestrian figure on the reverse: "either," says Vaillant, "because the country abounded in good horses, or because the inhabitants were pre-eminently warlike. Julius Caesar himself praises the Spanish Calvary."

On a first brass, bearing on its reverse the same horseman galloping, with spear couched in his right hand, is the following legend: V V OSCA C TARRACINA P PRISCO II VIR.

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