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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Republic||View Options:  |  |  |   

Coins of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic, Sextus Pompey, Imperator and Prefect of the Fleet, Executed 35 B.C., Portrait of Pompey the Great

|Pompeians|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Sextus| |Pompey,| |Imperator| |and| |Prefect| |of| |the| |Fleet,| |Executed| |35| |B.C.,| |Portrait| |of| |Pompey| |the| |Great||denarius|
The inscription PRAEF CLAS ET ORAE MARIT abbreviates Praefectus Classis et Orae Maritimae, which translates Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet and the Sea Coasts. This title was held by both Pompey the Great and his son Sextus Pompey. Although Sextus Pompey was the supreme naval commander, Octavian had the Senate declare him a public enemy. He turned to piracy and came close to defeating Octavian. He was defeated by Marcus Agrippa at the naval battle of Naulochus (3 September 36 B.C.) and was executed by order of Mark Antony in 35 B.C.
RR96734. Silver denarius, Crawford 511/3a, RSC I Pompey the Great 17, Sydenham 1344, BMCRR Sicily 7, Sear CRI 334, SRCV I 1392, aVF, attractive iridescent toning, obverse off center, tight flan, reverse strike weak on right, weight 3.822 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 135o, Sicilian mint, 42 - 40 B.C.; obverse MAG PIVS IMP ITER, head of Pompey the Great right, between capis and lituus (augural symbols); reverse Neptune standing left, right foot on prow, nude but for chlamys on left arm, holding apluster, flanked by the Catanaean brothers, Anapias and Amphinomus, running in opposite directions with their parents on their shoulders, PRAEF above, CLAS ET ORAE / MARIT EX S C in two lines in exergue; scarce; $570.00 SALE |PRICE| $460.00


Roman Republic, First Triumvirate, A. Plautius, c. 55 B.C.

|99-50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |First| |Triumvirate,| |A.| |Plautius,| |c.| |55| |B.C.||denarius|NEW
In 67 B.C., Aristobulus II rebelled against his older brother Hyrcanus II, the king of Judaea. Both brothers appealed to Pompey's deputy Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, who, bribed by a gift of 400 talents, decided in favor of Aristobulus. When Pompey arrived in Syria in 63 B.C., both brothers sent delegates to Damascus, but Pompey did not make an immediate decision. Aristobulus' followers refused to open the gates of Jerusalem and Romans forces besieged and captured the city. Pompey deemed Hyrcanus II, the elder, weaker brother a more reliable ally. Hyrcanus was restored as high priest, but not as king. Aristobulus was taken to Rome as a prisoner. In 57 B.C. Aristobulus escaped to Judaea and instigated another rebellion. A young cavalry commander, Marc Antony, led several men to scale Aristobulus' fortifications leading to his recapture. At the time this coin was struck in 55 B.C., Aristobulus was a prisoner in Rome. Julius Caesar released him in 49 B.C., hoping to turn Judaea against Pompey, but on his way to Judaea he was poisoned by a Pompey supporter. With help from the Parthians, Aristobulus' son Antigonus rebelled against Rome and became king in 40 B.C. He was defeated by Rome and killed in 37 B.C.

This special issue was struck by an Aedile Curule. Aediles supervised public works and staged games. Since this issue bears turreted Cybele, we may speculate it was to finance a building project.
RR97228. Silver denarius, Crawford 431/1, Sydenham 932, RSC I Plautia 13, BMCRR Rome 3916, Russo RBW 1540, SRCV I 395, VF, iridescent toning, bumps and scratches, slightly off center on a tight flan, weight 4.032 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 55 B.C.; obverse AED • CVR • S • C downwards on left, A • PLAVTIVS downwards on right, turreted head of Cybele right, wearing cruciform earring, hair rolled and in knot at the back, locks falling down neck; reverse Bacchius Judaeus (Aristobulus II high priest and ruler of Judaea) kneeling right, with left hand holding reins of camel standing right on his far side, raising olive branch in right hand, IVDAEVS upward on right, BACCHIVS in exergue; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


Roman Republic, Anonymous, 211 - 206 B.C.

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Anonymous,| |211| |-| |206| |B.C.||denarius|NEW
The Roman denarius was introduced in 211 B.C., initially weighing about 4.5 grams. The word denarius is derived from the Latin deni "containing ten," as its value was 10 asses, although in the middle of the 2nd century B.C. it was revalued to 16 asses or four sestertii. The denarius was the most common Roman coin for centuries but was slowly debased in weight and silver content until its replacement by the double denarius, called the antoninianus, early in the 3rd century A.D.
RR93653. Silver denarius, cf. Crawford 53/2, Sydenham 270, Russo RBW 192, RSC I 2, SRCV I 38,, VF, old collection toning, obverse well centered, reverse slightly off center, weight 3.542 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 211 - 206 B.C.; obverse head of Roma right, wearing winged helmet with a three piece peaked visor and ornamented with a griffin head, single drop earring and necklace, X behind, border of dots, griffin tufts widely spaced; reverse Dioscuri on horseback rearing right, wearing pilei with two stars above, holding couched spears, chlamys flying behind, ROMA in exergue within a linear frame (no line below), all within a linear border; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


Roman Republic, L. Postumius Albinus, 131 B.C.

|150-100| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |L.| |Postumius| |Albinus,| |131| |B.C.||denarius|NEW
In 131 B.C., the tribune Gaius Papirius Carbo passed a measure allowing the use of secret ballots in legislative assemblies.
RR97229. Silver denarius, Crawford 252/1, Sydenham 472, RSC Postumia 1, BMCRR Rome 1129, Russo RBW 1035, SRCV I 128, Choice VF, bold high relief (normal for this issue), well centered, light tone on some luster, weight 3.940 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 131 B.C.; obverse head of Roma right, wearing winged helmet with three-piece peaked visor and griffin head ornament, triple drop earring and necklace, hair falling in three locks, apex (priest's cap) behind, X (XVI monogram, mark of value) below; reverse Mars driving galloping quadriga right; wearing military garb, trophy in right hand; shield, spear, and reins in left hand; L•POST•ALB (ALB ligate) below, ROMA in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 90 (7 Jun 2020), lot 390; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


Roman Republic, L. Julius Bursio, 85 B.C.

|99-50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |L.| |Julius| |Bursio,| |85| |B.C.||denarius|NEW
The strange deity on the obverse combines attributes of Apollo, Mercury and Neptune. L. Ivliius Bursio is known only from his coinage. De Ruyter's die study of this type lists this obverse die (O168) with a reverse die numbered LXXVIIII. He does not list any specimens of any type with this reverse control number. BMCRR Rome has this reverse control number but an anchor obverse control symbol.
RR93654. Silver denarius, cf. De Ruyter - (O169/LXXVIIII); BMCRR Rome 2523 (anchor/CXXXXII), Sydenham 728b, RSC I Julia 5a, Crawford 352/1c, SRCV I 268, Choice aVF, broad oval flan, attractive style, nice light toning, light marks, tiny edge splits, weight 3.549 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 85 B.C.; obverse draped bust of male deity right with attributes of Apollo (laurel wreath), Mercury (winged head) and Neptune (trident behind), hair in ringlets, galley (control mark) behind; reverse Victory in a quadriga galloping right, extending wreath in right hand, reins in left hand, CXXXXII (control number) above, L·IVLI·BVRSIO in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $200.00


Roman Republic, M. Volteius M. f., 78 B.C.

|99-50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |M.| |Volteius| |M.| |f.,| |78| |B.C.||denarius|NEW
In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Liber (Latin: "the free one"), also known as Liber Pater ("the free Father"), was a god of viticulture and wine, fertility and freedom. He was a patron deity of Rome's plebeians and was part of their Aventine Triad. His festival of Liberalia (March 17) became associated with free speech and the rights attached to coming of age. His cult and functions were increasingly associated with Romanised forms of the Greek Dionysus-Bacchus, whose mythology he came to share.
RR97224. Silver denarius, Crawford 385/3, cf. BMCRR Rome 3160, Sydenham 776, RSC I Volteia 3, Russo RBW 1416, SRCV I 314 (only Crawford list the lizard control symbol), gVF, obverse well centered, bumps and marks, reverse off center, tiny edge cracks, weight 4.417 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 78 B.C.; obverse Wreathed head of Liber or Bacchus right; reverse M VOLTEI M F, Ceres driving biga of serpents right, holding two torches, lizard head upward (control symbol) behind; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 90 (7 Jun 2020), lot 427; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


Roman Republic, M. Cipius M.f., 115 or 114 B.C.

|150-100| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |M.| |Cipius| |M.f.,| |115| |or| |114| |B.C.||denarius|NEW
In 115 - 114 B.C., Gaius Marius was praetor in Rome and was sent to govern Hispania Lusitania where he defeated local tribes. In 114 B.C., the first temple of Venus was built in Rome.
RR97225. Silver denarius, Crawford 289/1, Sydenham 546, BMCRR Italy 522, RSC I Cipia 1, Russo RBW 1118, SRCV I 166, VF, attractive style, light tone, flow lines, light marks, weight 3.863 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 115 or 114 B.C.; obverse M CIPI M F, head of Roma right in winged helmet, X behind; reverse Victory in biga right, raising palm frond tied with a ribbon in right hand, reins in left hand, rudder with tiller to right below horses, ROMA in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 90 (7 Jun 2020), lot 395; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


Roman Republic, L. Antestius Gragulus, c. 136 B.C.

|150-100| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |L.| |Antestius| |Gragulus,| |c.| |136| |B.C.||denarius|NEW
This was the first type to use the X value mark (ligate XVI = 16 asses).

L. Antestius Gragulus was a moneyer in 136 B.C., a magistrate, responsible for the production of the Roman coinage. Magistrates were not simple mint workers (monetarii), they were officials who controlled the process, including the design on the coins themselves. During the Roman Republic, moneyers were called tresviri aere argento auro flando feriundo, literally "three men for casting (and) striking bronze, silver (and) gold (coins)."
RR97226. Silver denarius, Crawford 238/1, Sydenham 451, RSC I Antestia 9, BMCRR Rome 976, Russo RBW 980, SRCV I 115, gVF, nicely toned, flow lines, uneven strike with unstruck area on obverse and reverse, tiny edge splits, weight 3.922 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, c. 136 B.C.; obverse head of Roma left in winged helmet, crest with griffin head, peaked visor in three pieces, wearing earring and necklace, X below chin; reverse Jupiter in a fast quadriga right, thunderbolt in right hand, long lotus topped scepter and reins in left hand, L•ANTES (ANTE ligate) below horses, ROMA in exergue; ex Auktionshaus Münzhandlung Sonntag; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


Pontus (Amisos?), Roman Quaestor (Lucius Lucullus?), c. 100 - 50 B.C.

|Pontos|, |Pontus| |(Amisos?),| |Roman| |Quaestor| |(Lucius| |Lucullus?),| |c.| |100| |-| |50| |B.C.||AE| |21|
The Q identifies the bare male head as a Roman Quaestor. This letter is not noted in RPC but is visible here and clear on other examples known to Forum. Perhaps the image is of Lucius Lucullus, an important Quaestor of Sulla, about whom Plutarch wrote. The reverse legend, the Latin FETIA, refers to the fetial ceremony, part of the treaty making process, during which a pig was sacrificed to sanctify the oaths. The mint location is unknown but Imhoof-Blumer placed it at Amisus, where Leypold acquired his specimen.
RP96461. Brass AE 21, RPC I 2156, SNG Leypold I p. 24, 69; Imhoof-Blumer GRMK 281, F, dark patina, flat centers, scratches, reverse die wear, reverse off center, weight 7.913 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pontos (Amisos?) mint, c. 80 B.C.(?); obverse bare male head right, Q (quaestor) below; reverse two men standing, holding a pig between them, each with a hand raised, taking an oath of fealty, FETA IA in exergue; rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Roman Republic, Mn. Acilius Glabrio, 49 B.C.

|after| |50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Mn.| |Acilius| |Glabrio,| |49| |B.C.||denarius|NEW
Salus and Valetudo were honored on coins of the Acilia gens because they claimed to have introduced the first Greek physician into Rome. Valetudo, Hygieia to the Greeks, was the original Roman goddess of personal health. Over time, Salus, the goddess of safety and well-being (including welfare and prosperity in addition to health) assumed Valetudo's role. Few recognize Valetudo's name today.

On 10 January 49 B.C., Julius Caesar led his army across the Rubicon, which separated his jurisdiction (Cisalpine Gaul) from that of the Senate (Italy), and thus initiates a civil war. In October 49 B.C., Caesar was appointed Dictator of Rome.
RR97490. Silver denarius, Crawford 442/1b, RSC I Acilia 8a, Sydenham 922, BMCRR I Rome 3943, SRCV I 412, VF, uneven tone, light bumps and scratches, weight 3.844 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 49 B.C.; obverse SALVTIS (downward behind), laureate head of Salus right; reverse MN ACILIVS (straight downward on right, MN and TV in monogram) / III VIR VALETVS (curving upward on left), Valetudo (the old Roman goddess of personal health) standing left, snake in right hand, resting left elbow on column; ex Papillon auction 3 (27 Dec 20), lot 374; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00




  






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).

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