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Licinia



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Licinia - A plebian family. Its surnames on coins are Crassus, Macer, Murena, Nerva, Stolo. From this stock many illustrious branches, adorned by men of consular and pontifical rank have sprung, as the above appelations serve to impart. There are silver medals bearing this family amongst those struck by the moneyers of Augustus. The brass peices are the As, or its parts, and some are also by the moneyers of Augustus. There are 31 varieties. Silver and first brass rare; the rest common.

The following denarius of this family, bearing the surname of Crassus is rare:

The head of Venus; S C behind / P CRASSVS M F, a soldier standing, holds in his left hand a spear and buckler, with his right he holds a horse by the bridle.

This silver coin appears to have been struck by P. Crassus, the son of Marcus Crassus, killed by the Parthians, and who himself lost his life in the same war; but who, previously to the Parthian war, followed the camp of Caesar in the Gallic war, as the latter often testifies in his Commentaries. Whether this denarius, as some have supposed, was struck by him whilst he was quaestor in Gaul, or at another time, is uncertain. The reverse is believed to allude to the seremony of the tansvectio equi, or parading of the horse, accustomed to be performed before the Censor, thus recalling to remembrance an ancestral honour, for both his father and grandfather were censors. See Spanheim, TOM ii p. 99.

The following denarius of the same family, under the surname of Stolo, is also rare:

AVGVSTVS T R POT, Augustus on horseback, holding a garlan in his right hand / P STOLO IIIVIR, the pontifical Apex between two ancilia.

On a first brass and second brass of Augustus we read P. LICINIVS STOLO IIIVIR.
This Licinius, as tribune to the people, causes a law to be passed prohibiting any Roman citizen from possessing more than 500 acres of land, was, according to Varro, called Stolo, because he bestowed so much care in cultivating his land, that no one could find a stolo, or off-shoot of a plant, on his farm. One of this man's decendents was Stolo, whom these coins shew to have been a monetal triumvir of Augustus. Vaillant is of the opinion that on these denarii Augustus is exhibited on his return from Syria, entering the city with the honours of an ovation, because without bloodshed he had recovered Roman citizens and standards from the Parthiansm as Dion relates; to which event the reverse type is also thought to bear reference, for these military standards were hung up in the tample of Mars Ultor, whose flamen, or priest, wore the apex, and whose duty it was to preserve the ancilia.

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