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QVIRINUS


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QVIRINVS. -Memmius, the moneyer above alluded to, lived in the time of Julius Caesar, and was one of the Curule Ediles named Ceriales, establishe by that dictator.  The legend on the reverse of this medal - MEMMIVS AED. CERIALIA PREIMVS FECIT - simply shows that a certain person named Memmius was the first who presided at games, which it had been the custom to celebrate in honour of Ceres - a fact not noticed by any of the old writers, and which has led to a variety of conjectures among numismatists as to the age of this coin.  But our present concern is with its obverse, on which appears the laureated head of a man, with a long and luxuriant beard, accompanied  with this inscription, C, MEMMI. C. F. QVIRINVS. -Respecting the word Quirinus, Eckhel says, "It is still a question whether it refers to the surname of Memmius or to the portrait as being that of Quirinus or Romulus.  Those who regard it as a surname, adduce the instance of Calpurnius Quirinus and of Sulpicius Quirinus, whence they, with seeming probability infer, that the same cognomen also belonged to some individual of the Memmia family.  As these opinions do not amount to more than conjecture, so it is certain that the god Quirinus is indicated by this bearded head and that the word QVIRINVS was added, in the same way, in which that of NVMA or of ANCVS is placed near each of their heads, although it still may be that the word, moreover, serves to denote the surname of the moneyer, as in gens Pomponia, the word MVSA stands both for the surname of Pomponius and the Muse; but which Memmius is not known, for none of the old writers bring forward a Memmius Quirinus.  Of as little value are the examples of Calpurnius and Sulpicius cited by Havercamp.  For the name of Caplurnius Quirinus is found solely on a Spanish labidary inscription quoted by Fruter; whilst in Tacitus, Sulpicius is not called Quirinus, but Quirinius.  It still, therefore (concludes Eckhel), remains uncertain why the head of Quirinus was engraved on this denarius". - See Fabia

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