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Roman Republic, First Triumvirate, A. Plautius, c. 55 B.C.
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. RR94469. Silver denarius, Crawford 431/1, Sydenham 932, RSC I Plautia 13, BMCRR Rome 3916, Russo RBW 1540, SRCV I 395, Choice gVF, well centered on a broad flan, light tone on mint luster, areas of weak strike, light marks, weight 3.867 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, 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 King 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; from an Israeli collection, ex Münzzentrum Rheinland, auction 177 (14 Sep 2016), lot 304; $450.00 SALE |PRICE| $405.00
Roman Republic, Q. Pomponius Musa, 66 B.C.
Many of the Roman moneyers had a solid sense of humor and word play with homonyms was very popular. Pomponius Musa, playing on his name, issued ten types each depicting Hercules Musagetes (Conductor of the Muses) or one of nine different Muses, creating one of the most interesting and sought after series of the Republican coinage. This coin depicts Urania, the Muse of Astronomy. RR94286. Silver denarius, Crawford 410/8, Sydenham 823, RSC I Pomponia 22, RBW Collection 1488, SRCV I 359, gF, banker's marks, a little off center, weight 3.683 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 66 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, star behind; reverse MVSA on left, Q POMPONI on right, Urania, Muse of Astronomy standing left, pointing with rod in right hand at globe on tripod-stand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 77 (5 May 2019), lot 601; $280.00 SALE |PRICE| $252.00
Roman Republic, L. Aemilius Lepidus Paullus, 62 B.C.
At the end of the Third Macedonian War (171 - 168 B.C.), King Perseus of Macedonia was decisively defeated by Rome at the Battle of Pydna. He surrendered to general Lucius Aemilius Paullus and was imprisoned in Rome with his half-brother Philippus and his son Alexander. The Antigonid kingdom was replaced with four republics, which were later dissolved and became the Roman province of Macedonia.RR92948. Silver denarius, RSC I Aemilia 10, Crawford 415/1, Sydenham 926, RBW Collection 1497, BMCRR I Rome 3373, SRCV I 366, Choice F, well centered, round punch on obverse, toned, light marks and scratches, weight 3.754 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 62 B.C.; obverse PAVLLVS LEPIDVS CONCORDIA, veiled and diademed head of Concordia right; reverse Paullus on right, standing left, togate, with right hand touching trophy of captured arms in center; on the left, three standing bound captives: King Perseus of Macedonia, his half-brother, and his son, TER above PAVLLVS in exergue; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
Roman Republic, Unofficial, c. 169 - 91 B.C.
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 Forum (2006), ex Goodman collection; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00
Roman Republic, Anonymous (Unofficial?), c. 91 B.C.
Russo suspects this type may be unofficial because, despite the attractive style, the prow does not include the usual features found on most coins of the period.RR88352. Copper quadrans, RBW Collection 1244 (unofficial?), Crawford 339/4a, Sydenham 679c, BMCRR Rome 2208, SRCV I 1195, VF, porous, rough, edge splits, weight 2.114 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial(?) mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, apotropaic on side, ROMA above, three pellets below; $85.00 SALE |PRICE| $76.50
Roman Republic, Anonymous, 86 B.C.
In 88 B.C., King Mithridates VI of Pontos took control of Roman Asia. Intending to severely and forever damage Roman-Hellenistic relations, he wrote to all the civic authorities of the province, ordering them to exterminate all Romans without regard to age or sex. The killings were to be carried out exactly one month after the date of his letter. Appian states that 80,000 Romans and Italians were murdered. Plutarch gives a much higher number. Rome immediately declared war. In 86 B.C., Lucius Cornelius Sulla captured Athens from the Pontic Kingdom army, and removed the tyrant Aristion. He also defeated Mithridates' greatest general, Archelaus, at the Battle of Chaeronea. In 85 B.C., Sulla would defeat Archelaus again in the decisive Battle of Orchomenus. Sulla allowed the defeated Mithridates to keep his own kingdom, in return for a huge indemnity and the loan of 70 ships to Sulla to return home to Rome.RR88353. Bronze semis, Crawford 350B/1, Sydenham 678A (scarce), BMCRR Rome 2205, RBW Collection 1342 (scarce), Hannover 2671, SRCV I 908, F, green patina, porous/rough, weight 6.546 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 86 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Saturn right, S (mark of value) behind; reverse prow right, S (mark of value) left, ROMA above; scarce; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
Roman Republic, Unofficial, c. 91 B.C.
In 91 B.C., the tribune Marcus Livius Drusus proposed extending Roman citizenship to allied Italian cities, but was assassinated, leading to the Social War.RR88243. Copper quadrans, cf. Crawford 339/4c (official), Sydenham 679c (official), SRCV I 1194 (official), RBW Collection -, VF, obverse off center, porous/corrosion, weight 3.181 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 45o, unofficial mint, c. 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow of galley right, three pellets right, ROMA below; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
La monetazione di Roma durante la Repubblica col prezzario delle monete
BK50735. La monetazione di Roma durante la Repubblica col prezzario delle monete by Cesare Gamberini di Scarfèa, special order, Bologna, 1973, 145 pages, 6 plates, Forni reprint; $36.00 SALE |PRICE| $32.40 Out of Stock!
Albert, R. Die Münzen der römischen Republik. (Regenstauf, 2003).
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Buttrey, T. "The Denarii of P. Crepusius and Roman Republican Mint Organization" in ANSMN 21 (1976), p. 67-108.
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