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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Democracy||View Options:  |  |  |   

Democracy (Demos - The People)

The image of Demos, the personification of the People, was used on ancient coinage as early as the 5th century BC. In Roman times, many towns under Roman domination struck pseudo-autonomous coinage depicting either the bust or head of Demos, or showed him standing with the emperor, Boule, or the Demos of another city. Here we will also include coins that depict personifications of the Senate, citizens councilman (boule), and elders (gerousia), and any coin that depicts voting.


Roman Republic, M. Junius Brutus (Q. Caepio Brutus), 54 B.C.

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M. Junius Brutus (also called Q. Caepio Brutus) is the most famous of Caesars assassins. Many of Brutus' coins honor his ancestors and illustrate his strong republican views. The obverse honors L. Junius Brutus, the consul who in 509 B.C. forced the expulsion of the Tarquin Kings from Rome and founded the Republic. The reverse honors Gaius Servilius Ahala, who threw Spurius Maelius down from the Tarpeian rock to his death for plotting against the Republic and aspiring to tyranny. Caesar should not have been surprised by Brutus!
RR86434. Silver denarius, RSC I Junia 30, Sydenham 907, Crawford 433/2, BMCRR I Rome 3864, Russo RBW 1543, SRCV I 398, VF, iridescent toning, obverse a little off center, scratches, weight 3.542 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 54 B.C.; obverse bearded bare head of L. Junius Brutus (consul 509 B.C.), BRVTVS behind; reverse bearded bare head of C. Servilius Ahala (master of the horse 439 B.C.), AHALA behind; SOLD


Hadrianothera, Mysia, c. 130 - 161 A.D.

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Hadrianothera was founded by Hadrian to commemorate his successful hunting expedition in the area.
RP77196. Bronze AE 19, SNG BnF 1084 (same dies); SNGvA 1145 - 1146; BMC Mysia, p. 75, 1; SNG Cop -, Choice VF, some scratches and bumps, areas of porosity, weight 4.377 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Hadrianothera mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 130 - 161 A.D.; obverse IEPA CYNKΛHTOCC, draped bust of the senate right; reverse A∆PIANOΘHPITΩN, Asklepios standing facing, head left, himation around waist and legs and over left shoulder, leaning on snake entwined staff in right hand; very rare; SOLD


Roman Republic, P. Licinius Nerva, 113 - 112 B.C.

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This coin is one of the most popular republican types because it depicts voting by the Roman people. Citizens voted on issues presented to them by the magistrates in the Comitium, which was located in the Forum in front of the Senate House
RR85015. Silver denarius, Crawford 292/1, Sydenham 548, RSC I Licinia 7, Russo RBW 1125, BMCRR Italy 526, SRCV I 169, VF, scratches, edge cracks, weight 3.638 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 113 - 112 B.C.; obverse helmeted bust of Roma left, spear in right hand over right shoulder, shield decorated with horseman on left arm, crescent with horns up above, X (XVI ligature before), ROMA upward behind; reverse three citizens on the Comitium, voter on the left receiving ballot from attendant below, voter on the right placing ballot in cista, P•NERVA (NE in monogram) above; SOLD


Roman Republic, L. Cassius Longinus, c. 63 B.C.

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This coin honors the moneyer's ancestor, L. Cassius Longinus Ravill. The obverse alludes to his appointment as quaesitor in 113 B.C. for the retrial of three Vestal Virgins accused of unchastity. The reverse commemorates his successful proposal of the Lex Cassia Tabellaria in 137 B.C., changing the Republic’s voting system to the secret ballot. To vote on a law, Roman ballots were marked V for uti rogas, meaning "as you ask," or the negative A for antiquo, meaning "maintain things as they are." For judicial votes, not guilty ballots were marked either A for absolvo or L for libero. Guilty ballots were marked either C for condemno or D for damno.

The obverse control letters come only from the moneyer's praenomen and nomen, L CASSI. A reversed S was used to indicate the second S in his name.
SH31419. Silver denarius, BMCRR I Rome 3931 (same L control letter), Crawford 413/1, Sydenham 935, RSC I Cassia 10, SRCV I 364, VF, weight 4.026 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 63 B.C.; obverse veiled bust of Vesta left, kylix behind, L before; reverse LONGIN III V, voter standing left, dropping tablet inscribed V into a cista; ex Freeman & Sear; SOLD


Collossae, Phrygia, c 177 - 192 A.D.

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Colossae was on the Lycus (a tributary of the Maeander River) 10 miles southeast of Laodicea, 13 miles from Hierapolis, and 3 miles from Mount Cadmus. In the 4th century B.C., Xenophon described it as one of six large cities of Phrygia. Antiochus the Great relocated two thousand Jewish families from Babylonia and Mesopotamia to Colossae. The city's commerce included trade in wool and woven fabric. It was known for its religious fusion (syncretism) of Jewish, Gnostic, and pagan influences, described in the first century A.D. as an angel-cult. The Apostle Paul addressed an epistle (letter) to the city's Christian community which addressed the cult and exalted the supremacy of Jesus Christ. The city was overrun by the Saracens in the 7th and 8th centuries A.D. and ultimately destroyed by the Turks in the 12th century. As of 2015, it had never been excavated, but there are plans for an Australian-led expedition.
RP86524. Bronze AE 32, RPC Online temp 1899; vA Phrygiens II 496 - 505; SNGvA 3765; SNG Mün 307; SNG Hunt 1938; McClean III 8789; BMC Phrygia p. 155, 5 (all same dies?), F, broad flan, earthen deposits, porous, weight 19.959 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 180o, Colossae mint, c. 177 - 192 A.D.; obverse ∆HMOC - KOΛOCCHNΩ-N, laureate head of young Demos right; reverse Helios standing in galloping quadriga, facing, wearing radiate crown, globe in left hand, torch in right hand, KO-ΛOC/CH-NΩN in two divided lines below horses; ex David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; very rare; SOLD


Octavian, Triumvir and Imperator, Augustus 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

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The Curia Julia was the meeting house of the Roman Senate. Construction was started by Caesar and finished by Augustus who added the front portico. The dedication took place on 28 August 29 B.C. Damaged by the Neronian fire, the building was later restored by Domitian. Completely destroyed by another fire in the third century, it was reconstructed by Diocletian. Due to its conversion into the basilica of Sant'Adriano al Foro in the 7th century, the Curia Julia is one of only a handful of Roman structures to survive to the modern day mostly intact. In the 1930's the church was removed and the original 4th Century features restored. The marble cladding and portico are gone. Inside the single roomed structure one can see Byzantine period wall paintings and the ornate original marble floor dating from Diocletian. Curia Julia
RR86170. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1557, RSC I 122, RIC I 266, BMCRR 4358, Sear CRI 421, gF, nice portrait, toned, old bumps and scratches, weight 3.446 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 45o, Italian (Rome?) mint, as sole imperator, autumn 30 - summer 29 B.C.; obverse bare head of Octavian right; reverse Facade of the Curia Julia (Roman Senate House), IMP CAESAR on the architrave, tetrastyle porch, statue of Victory standing facing on globe on roof apex, holds wreath in right hand, vexillum in left hand; flanked by statues of warriors at the extremities of the architrave, each standing inward holding parazonium and scepter; from the Lucas Harsh Collection; ex Roma e-sale 17 (25 Apr 2015), lot 558; ex Andrew McCabe Collection; SOLD


Roman Republic, M. Junius Brutus (Q. Caepio Brutus), 54 B.C.

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M. Junius Brutus (also called Q. Caepio Brutus) is the most famous of Caesars assassins. Many of Brutus' coins honor his ancestors and illustrate his strong republican views. Lucius Junius Brutus overthrew the last king of Rome and established the Republic in 509 B.C. Caesar should have taken notice of the message of patriotic devotion Brutus conveyed by his coins.
RR86469. Silver denarius, Crawford 433/1, Sydenham 906, RSC I Junia 31, BMCRR I Rome 3861, RBW Collection 1542, SRCV I 397, VF, toned, uneven strike with weak areas, bankers mark, slightly off center, weight 4.001 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 54 B.C.; obverse LIBERTAS downward behind, head of Liberty right, hair rolled, wearing drop pendant earring and necklace; reverse L. Junius Brutus between two lictors, preceded by an accensus, all walking left, BRVTVS in exergue; from the Lucas Harsh Collection; SOLD


Roman Republic, L. Cassius Longinus, 63 B.C.

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This coin honors the moneyer's ancestor, L. Cassius Longinus Ravill. The obverse alludes to his appointment as quaesitor in 113 B.C. for the retrial of three Vestal Virgins accused of unchastity. The reverse commemorates his successful proposal of the Lex Cassia Tabellaria in 137 B.C., changing the Republic's voting system to the secret ballot. To vote on a law, Roman ballots were marked V for uti rogas, meaning "as you ask," or the negative A for antiquo, meaning "maintain things as they are." For judicial votes, not guilty ballots were marked either A for absolvo or L for libero. Guilty ballots were marked either C for condemno or D for damno.

The obverse control letters come only from the moneyer's praenomen and nomen, L CASSI. A reversed S was used to indicate the second S in his name.
RR86173. Silver denarius, BMCRR I Rome 3929 (also A), Crawford 413/1, Sydenham 935, RSC I Cassia 10, SRCV I 364, RBW Collection 1493 var. (control: L), gVF, toned, bumps, banker's marks, reverse off center, weight 3.811 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 63 B.C.; obverse veiled bust of Vesta left, kylix behind, A (control symbol) before; reverse voter standing left, dropping tablet (ballot) inscribed V into a cista, LONGIN III•V• downward behind; from the Lucas Harsh Collection; SOLD


Roman Republic, C. Poblicius Malleolus, 96 B.C.

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The mallet (Latin: malleolus) cleverly replaces the usually inscribed abbreviated name of the moneyer. According to Crawford, the tablet is a ballot of a citizen from a tribe with the initial P, who is voting for a C. Malleolus.
RR68926. Silver denarius, Crawford 335/3f, Sydenham 615b, RSC I Poblicia 8, BMCRR 703, SRCV I 217, VF, weight 3.939 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 96 B.C.; obverse beardless helmeted head of Mars right, mallet above, X below chin; reverse warrior standing left, right foot on small cuirass, spear in right hand, left hand on hip, trophy of captured arms before him on left, tablet inscribed CM / AL - Π behind him on right; scarce; SOLD


Roman Republic, L. Cassius Longinus, 63 B.C.

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This coin honors the moneyer's ancestor, L. Cassius Longinus Ravill. The obverse alludes to his appointment as quaesitor in 113 B.C. for the retrial of three Vestal Virgins accused of unchastity. The reverse commemorates his successful proposal of the Lex Cassia Tabellaria in 137 B.C., changing the Republic's voting system to the secret ballot. To vote on a law, Roman ballots were marked V for uti rogas, meaning "as you ask," or the negative A for antiquo, meaning "maintain things as they are." For judicial votes, not guilty ballots were marked either A for absolvo or L for libero. Guilty ballots were marked either C for condemno or D for damno.

The obverse control letters come only from the moneyer's praenomen and nomen, L CASSI. A reversed S was used to indicate the second S in his name.
RR70844. Silver denarius, BMCRR I Rome 3929 (also A), Crawford 413/1, Sydenham 935, RSC I Cassia 10, SRCV I 364, RBW Collection 1493 var. (control: L), aVF, graffiti M on obverse, weight 3.888 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, c. 63 B.C.; obverse veiled bust of Vesta left, kylix behind, A (control symbol) before; reverse LONGIN III•V•, voter standing left, dropping tablet (ballot) inscribed V into a cista; from the Sam Mansourati collection; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Kurth, D. Demos|, The Personification of the People. (2010).
Martin, K. Demos, Boule, Gerousia: Personifikationen städtischer Institutionen auf kaiserzeitlichen Münzen aus Kleinasien. (Bonn, 2013).


Catalog current as of Sunday, August 18, 2019.
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Democracy