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Aurelia





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AURELIA gens plebeia; of Sabine origin, noted for having produced very eminent men on whom were conferred the highest offices of the State. According to Festus, this family were so called from the Sun : because the Roman people publicly granted it a place, in which sacrifices might be performed to the Sun. It was distinguished by the prenomina of Caius, Lucius, Marcus; and by the cognomina of Cotta, Rufus, Scaurus, both on coins and by ancient writers. he Aurelia gens often enjoyed the honours of the Consulate, the Censorship and the Triumph in the times of the Republic and, afterwards, was associated with monarchial dignity in the persons of several of the Emperors. Mionnet, out of 17 varieties (from Morel) gives the following as a rarity, in silver :

Obverse: COTA. Winged head of Pallas: behind X (mark of the denarius).
Reverse: M AVRELI. Hercules in a biga drawn by two centaurs, each holding a branch of a tree; below, in exergue, ROMA.
 Eckhel says "I prefer confessing my ignorance of the meaning of the singular type exhibited on the reverse of this coin, rather than avail myself of such irrelevant matter, as that with which some learned men have endeavoured to explain it; an instance of which may be found in Spanheim. One circumstance only, am I inclined to bring forward; viz. that a similar type exists on a Greek medal, with the inscription OPPE (which I ascribe to Horreus of Epirus); on which we see on one side the head of Hercules, and on the other a centaur running, bearing a branch covered with berries."  See Centaur - also Mars.
 

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