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Coins of the Roman Republic

Roman Republic, P. Clodius M.f. Turrinus, 42 B.C.

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This coin refers to the Sabine origin of the moneyer's family, worship of Diana was introduced into Rome by the Sabines.

Lucifer means lightbringer, from the Latin lux light and ferre to bear or bring. The word Lucifer is found in only one place in the Bible -- Isaiah 14:12 -- but only in the King James and related versions: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! The King James Version is based on the Vulgate, the Latin translation of Jerome. Jerome translated the Hebrew helel (bright or brilliant one) as lucifer, which was a reasonable Latin equivalent. And yet it is this lucifer, the bright one or lightbearer, that came to be understood by so many as the name for Satan, Lord of Darkness.
SL19795. Silver denarius, Crawford 494/23, RSC I Claudia 15, Sydenham 1117, BMCRR 4287, Sear CRI 184, SRCV I 492, NGC Choice VF, bankers marks (4627127-017), weight c. 3.4 g, maximum diameter c. 17 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, c. 42 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, lyre behind; reverse Diana Lucifera (the light bringer) standing right holding two long lit torches, M•F• left, P•CLODIVS right; ex Heritage auction 231833, lot 63085; $140.00 (€119.00)


Carteia, Hispania Baetica, c. 44 B.C. - 1st Century A.D.

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The Latin colony of Carteia was founded in 171 B.C. In 27 B.C., when Augustus had become emperor, Hispania Ulterior was divided into Baetica (modern Andalusia) and Lusitania (modern Portugal, Extremadura, and part of Castilla-León). Cantabria and Basque country were also added to Hispania Citerior.
RP84139. Bronze quadrans, Villaronga-Benages 2609, Villaronga 65; RPC I 116, SNG Cop 434, SNG Lorichs 1337, SNG München -, SNG Tub, VF, tight flan, earthen deposits, areas of heavy scratches, weight 2.922 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Carteia mint, c. 44 B.C. - 1st century A.D.; obverse CARTEIA, head of Fortuna-Tyche right, wearing crown of turreted city walls, trident behind; reverse Cupid riding dolphin right, IIII VIR above, EX D D below; $40.00 (€34.00)


Roman Republic, L. Memmius Galeria, 106 B.C.

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Venus was the guardian deity of the Memmia gens. Cupid flying above on the reverse was inspired by Victory on the tetradrachms of Syracuse.
RR84915. Silver denarius serratus, BMCRR I 1353 (also pellet / Q), Crawford 313/1c, Sydenham 574a, RSC I Memmia 2a, RBW Collection 1159 var. (control on obv.), SRCV I 190 var. (same), VF, toned, porous, reverse off center, weight 3.679 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 106 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Saturn left, harpa over ROMA behind; reverse Venus in a slow biga right, Cupid flying left above holding wreath, pellet over Q (control) below horse's foreleg, L MEMME (ME in monogram) over GAL in exergue; $110.00 (€93.50)


Roman Republic, Dictatorship of Julius Caesar, C. Vibius C.f. C.n. Pansa Caetronianus, 48 B.C.

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The events of 48 B.C. are among the best known of ancient history. Caesar defeated Pompey at Pharsalus and later was greeted at Alexandria with a gift of Pompey's head. The twenty-one-year-old Cleopatra VII had herself delivered to him rolled in a carpet and became his mistress. Caesar and Cleopatra defeated Ptolemy XIII, but during the battle the Library of Alexandria was burned.
RR87409. Silver denarius, Crawford 449/1b, Sear CRI 20a, Sydenham 948, RSC I Vibia 19, BMCRR I 3980, SRCV I 420, gVF, toned, obverse slightly off center, bumps and scratches, weight 3.551 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 48 B.C.; obverse PANSA, mask of Pan right, pedum (shepherd's crook) behind; reverse IOVIS AXVR C VIBIVS C F C N, Jupiter Axurus (or Anxurus) seated left, radiate, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; ex CNG e-auction 425 (25 Jul 2018), lot 359; $240.00 (€204.00)


Sextus Pompey, Imperator and Prefect of the Fleet, Executed 35 B.C.

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In Greek mythology, Scylla was a monster that lived on one side of Strait of Messina between Italy and Sicily, opposite her counterpart Charybdis. The two sides of the strait were within an arrow's range of each other - so close that sailors attempting to avoid Charybdis would pass dangerously close to Scylla and vice versa. Scylla made her first appearance in Homer's Odyssey, where Odysseus and his crew encounter her and Charybdis on their travels. Later myth gave her an origin story as a beautiful nymph who gets turned into a monster. The idiom "between Scylla and Charybdis" has come to mean being forced to choose between two similarly dangerous situations.
SH87414. Silver denarius, RSC I Pompeia 3a (same ligatures), Crawford 511/4d, Sydenham 1348, BMCRR Sicily 20, Sear CRI 335b, SRCV I 1393, gVF, beautifully toned, edge cracks, legends not fully struck, weight 3.566 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 225o, uncertain Sicilian mint, 40 - 39 B.C.; obverse MAG•PIVS•IMP•ITER, pharos (lighthouse) of Messana, topped with stature of Neptune standing right holding trident and rudder, his left foot on a galley ram; quinquereme (war galley) sailing left in foreground below adorned with aquila on prow and scepter at the stern; reverse PRAEF ORAE•MARIT•ET•CLAS• S•C• (AEs and MAR ligate), the sea monster Skylla, her upper body a nude human female torso, lower body of two fish tails and three dog foreparts, attacking to left with a rudder wielded as a club in both hands raised overhead; ex Nomos Obolos 10, lot 349; rare; $2100.00 (€1785.00)


Roman Republic, L. Marcius Censorinus, 82 B.C.

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The moneyer selected the design to play on his name, Marsyas sounds like Marcius.

Marsyas found Athena's flute. Inspired by the breath of a goddess, it played beautifully. Foolishly he challenged Apollo to a musical contest. Apollo won by singing to the music of his lyre. As a just punishment for his presumption, Apollo flayed Marsyas alive. His blood was the source of the river Marsyas, and his skin was hung like a wine bag in the cave out of which that river flows.
RR87417. Silver denarius, Crawford 363/1d, Sydenham 737, RSC I Marcia 24, RBW Collection 1372, SRCV I 281, gVF, toned, obverse slightly off center, die wear, weight 3.815 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 82 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, no control mark; reverse the satyr Marsyas standing left, bald, right arm raised, wine skin over shoulder shoulder in left hand, L·CENSOR downward before, a column topped with Victory behind, no control mark; ex Nomos Obolos 10, lot 337; scarce; $110.00 (€93.50)


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 234 - 231 B.C.

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In 232, despite the opposition of the Roman Senate and of his own father, the Roman political leader Gaius Flaminius won passage of a measure to distribute land among the plebeians. The Romans decide to parcel out land north of Rome (the Ager Gallicus) into small holdings for its poorer citizens whose farms have fallen into ruin during the First Punic War. In 217, during the Second Punic War, Gaius Flaminius was defeated and killed in the Battle of Lake Trasimene against Hannibal.
SH87329. Silver didrachm, RBW Collection 48 (same dies), Crawford 26/1, Sydenham 27, RSC I Pre-denarius Coinage 37, Historia Numorum Italy 306, SRCV I 28, VF, well centered, nice style, toned, light marks, very porous, tiny edge cracks, weight 6.406 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 234 - 231 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse horse rearing left, ROMA above back and tail; rare; $900.00 (€765.00)


Roman Republic, Fragment of an Aes Formatum Large Domed Disc Ingot, 4th Century B.C.

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Called aes formatum by Haeberlin, this very rare bronze currency was a precursor to the issues of aes grave but later than aes rude. Presumably, molten bronze-iron alloy was poured into a shallow hole in the dirt. This left a disc-shaped metal mound with a flat reverse. Broken examples like this one are much more common than complete ones.
RR86151. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. Haeberlin p. 4, pl. 2.7; fragment, weight 199.40 g, maximum diameter 66.1 mm, Italian mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse convex obverse; reverse flat reverse; rare; $200.00 (€170.00)


Roman Republic, c. 169 - 91 B.C., Unofficial Issue

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Crawford notes, "The very common quadrantes with M • and N• (as Milan 351) are clearly unofficial."
RR79715. Copper quadrans, cf. Milan 351 (from Crawford appendix p. 309 unofficial issues of bronze coins), Sydenham -, VF, centered on a tight flan, light marks,, weight 4.182 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 135o, unofficial mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, ROMA below, three pellets before, M• above; ex FORVM (2006), ex Goodman collection; $140.00 (€119.00)


Luceria, Apulia, Italy, c. 211 - 200 B.C.

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In 321 B.C., the Romans, deceived into thinking Lucera was under siege by the Samnites, walked into an ambush and were defeated. The town threw out the Samnites, sought Roman protection, and in 320 B.C. was granted the status of Colonia Togata, which meant it was ruled by the Roman Senate. To strengthen ties, 2,500 Romans moved to Lucera. Roman culture merged with the native one slowly, probably accompanied by cross-cultural marriages, but Lucera was a steadfast supporter of Rome. By the 2nd century B.C., the rustic town was transformed into a proper Roman city with houses, public buildings, paved roads, sidewalks and services for travelers, accommodation for livestock with running water, and warehouses for storing goods.
GB86125. Bronze uncia, SNG ANS 709; SNG Cop 663; SNG BnF 1368; SNG München 504; HN Italy 682; BMC Italy p. 141, 62; Hunterian -, VF, rough, weight 4.084 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, Luceria mint, c. 211 - 200 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, bow and quiver at shoulder, pellet behind; reverse LOVC-ERI, toad seen from above; very rare; $680.00 (€578.00)










REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Crawford, M. Roman Republican Coinage. (Cambridge, 1974).
Grueber, H.A. Coins of the Roman Republic in The British Museum. (London, 1910).
Haeberlin, E. J. Aes Grave. Das Schwergeld Roms und Mittelitaliens. (Frankfurt, 1910).
Rutter, N.K. ed. Historia Numorum. Italy. (London, 2001).
Seaby, H.A., D. Sear, & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Volume I, The Republic to Augustus. (London, 1989).
Sear, D. R. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49 - 27 BC. (London, 1998).
Sear, D. R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Stannard, C. The local coinages of Central Italy in the late Roman Republic: provisional catalogue, Oct 2007.
Sydenham, E. Aes Grave, a Study of the Cast Coinages of Rome and Central Italy. (London, 1926).
Sydenham, E. The Coinage of the Roman Republic. (London, 1952).
Thurlow, B. and I. Vecchi. Italian Cast Coinage. (Dorchester, 1979).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, September 18, 2018.
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Roman Republic