Numismatic and History Discussions > Roman Coins

a Pompeian denarius, imitation or official issue?


YuenTsin C:
This is a controversial denarius acquired from a famous American auction house, it was previously auctioned in two European auction houses in 2019 and 2013, respectively.

According to auction house’s description, it’s a Celtic imitation of the denarius (Crawford 447/1a) issued circa 48 BC by military mint traveling with Pompey ‘the Great’ when he retreated to Greece after Julius Caesar crossed Rubicon river and marched towards Rome. Although it is quite confident about this and pointed out that the previous European auction houses ‘listed it erroneously as an official issue’, they did not mention the reasons for this conclusion.

The reason for the conclusion is the generally rougher style and the garbled legend on reverse.  Note the backward "N".  I have an official example with correct legend in my Forum Gallery, here:

YuenTsin C:
Thanks very much, I think the inverted 'N' is the key


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