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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 Melpomene, the muse of Tragedy.RR89043. Silver denarius, RSC I Pomponia 14, Crawford 410/4, Sydenham 816, SRCV I 354, VF, attractive head of Apollo, light toning, light marks, off center, some encrustation, weight 3.453 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 66 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, scepter behind; reverse Melpomene, muse of tragedy, standing left, resting right hand on club, tragic mask in left, MVSA downward on left, Q POMPONI downward on right; ex Harlan J. Berk auction 156, lot 242; $380.00 (€334.40)
Roman Republic, Marcus Aemilius Scaurus & Publius Plautius Hypsaeus, 58 B.C.
M. Aemilius Scaurus, in 62 B.C., as quaestor to Pompey, was sent against King Aretas but withdrew when Aretas paid 300 talents. This was the first time a moneyer publicized his own career on coinage. Aemilius was curule aedile when this coin was struck. This was the first time a moneyer publicized an event from his own career on coinage. Later he was praetor and propraetor, lost a campaign for Consul, and successfully defended Cicero. In 52 B.C., he was charged with bribery and went into exile. RR91807. Silver denarius, BMCRR Rome 3878 (also HYPSAEVE), Crawford 422/1b var., Sydenham 913 var., RSC I Aemilia 8 var., RBW Collection 1519 var., SRCV I 379 var., Choice gVF, deep old cabinet toning, well centered on the usual tight flan, weight 3.945 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 58 B.C.; obverse Aretas, King of Nabataea, kneeling beside camel, holding reins and raising olive branch with fillet, M SCAVR above, EX - S C at sides, REX ARETAS in exergue; reverse Jupiter in quadriga left, reins in right, hurling thunderbolt with left, scorpion below, P HYPSAEVE / AED CVR above, CAPTV on right, C HYPSAE COS / PREIVE in exergue; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 31 (10 March 2019), lot 392; $380.00 (€334.40)
Roman Republic, 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 was 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. RR91410. Silver denarius, RSC I Plautia 13, Sydenham 932, Crawford 431/1, BMCRR Rome 3916, Russo RBW 1540, SRCV I 395, VF, old collection toning, reverse a little off center, weight 3.803 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 90o, 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 the Maxwell |Hunt| Collection; $250.00 (€220.00)
Roman Republic, Anonymous, 86 B.C.
This type is from a late, massive, and intriguing anonymous issue undoubtedly struck by the moneyer triumvirate of Gargonius, Ogulnius and Vergilius. Their signed coins (SRCV I 263 - 265) have identical types and are scarce or rare. RR91806. Silver denarius, Crawford 350a/2, Sydenham 723, RSC I 226, BMCRR I Rome 2622, RBW Collection 1333, SRCV I 266, VF, light golden toning, some die wear, light graffito obverse right field, weight 4.014 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 86 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, thunderbolt below neck truncation; reverse Jupiter in quadriga right, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, reins in left hand; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 31 (10 Mar 2019), lot 375; $170.00 (€149.60)
Roman Republic, C. Marius C.f. Capito, 81 B.C.
Plowing with a yoke of oxen usually symbolized colonization. The ceremonial founding of a colony included plowing a furrow, the pomerium, a sacred boundary, around the site of the new city. For this issue, the control numbers are always the same on both sides. RR91676. Silver denarius serratus, Crawford 378/1c, Sydenham 744b, RSC I Maria 9, SRCV I 300, BMCRR I Rome 2855 ff. var. (controls), VF, toned, light marks, weak obverse center, weight 3.874 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 81 B.C.; obverse CAPIT• ┴X (60, control number), draped bust of Ceres right, wreathed with grain, pileus with star above (control symbol) below chin; reverse plowman conducting yoke of two oxen left (priest plowing pomerium), ┴X (60, control number) above, C•MARI•C•F / S•C in two lines in exergue; $150.00 (€132.00)
Roman Republic, Quintus Cassius Longinus, 55 B.C.
The obverse portrait has been variously interpreted as Bonus Eventus (the God of good Success) or Genius Populi Romani (the guardian spirit of the Roman people). Quintus Cassius Longinus was a governor in Hispania for Caesar. Cassius was one of the tresviri monetales of the Roman mint in 55 B.C. He served as a quaestor for Pompey in Hispania Ulterior in 54 B.C.RR87659. Silver denarius, Crawford 428/3, Sydenham 916, RSC I Cassia 7, BMCRR I Rome 3868, RBW Collection 1535, SRCV I 391, aVF, light toning, highest points flatly struck, banker's marks, bumps and scratches, scrape on reverse, closed edge crack, weight 3.651 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 55 B.C.; obverse young male head (Genius Populi Romani or Bonus Eventus) right, scepter behind; reverse eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, lituus (augur's staff) on left, jug on right, Q•CASSIVS below; $140.00 (€123.20)
Roman Republic, Marcus Aemilius Scaurus & Publius Plautius Hypsaeus, 58 B.C.
M. Aemilius Scaurus, in 62 B.C., as quaestor to Pompey, was sent against King Aretas but withdrew when Aretas paid 300 talents. Aemilius was curule aedile when this coin was struck. This was the first time a moneyer publicized an event from his own career on coinage. Later he was praetor and propraetor, lost a campaign for Consul, and successfully defended Cicero. In 52 B.C., he was charged with bribery and went into exile. RR91428. Silver denarius, Crawford 422/1b, Sydenham 913, RSC I Aemilia 8, RBW Collection 1519, SRCV I 379, VF, beautiful old collection toning, nearly as struck but uneven strike with reverse off center, weight 3.895 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 58 B.C.; obverse Aretas, King of Nabataea, kneeling beside camel raising olive branch with fillet, M SCAVR above, EX - S C at sides, REX ARETAS in ex; reverse Jupiter in quadriga left, reins in right, hurling thunderbolt with left, scorpion below, P HYPSAEVS / AED CVR above, CAPT on right, C HYPSAE COS / PREIVE in exergue; from the Maxwell |Hunt| Collection; $140.00 (€123.20)
Roman Republic, C. Vibius C.f. Pansa, 90 B.C.
In 90 B.C. the Etruscans received Roman citizenship.RR89070. Silver denarius, RSC I Vibia 2, Crawford 342/5b, Sydenham 684, RBW Collection 1287, SRCV 242, aVF, light toning, high points not fully struck, weight 3.772 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 90 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, larger low relief head, hair in heavy scattered locks, PANSA behind, control symbol below chin; reverse Minerva in a quadriga right, trophy over shoulder in right, spear and reins in left, C•VIBIVS•C•F• in exergue; ex Frascatius Ancient Coins; $130.00 (€114.40)
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 (€110.00)
Roman Republic, L. Calpurnius Piso L.f. Frugi, 90 B.C.
In 90 B.C., Rome barely managed to stave off total defeat in the Social War. The Italians were denied citizenship and, despite making up over half the Roman army, were denied a fair share of the booty and lands. They rebelled and raised an army of 100,000 battle-hardened soldiers. After Roman victories and citizenship concessions, the war was nearly over by 88 B.C.RR88359. Silver denarius, BMCRR I Rome 2023 var. (also hammer and flute, but R on obverse, V on reverse); Sydenham 669a; Crawford 340/1; RSC I Calpurnia 11; SRCV I 235, gF, toned, light marks, small edge splits, weight 3.751 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 90 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair falling in long ringlets, hammer (control symbol) behind, S (control letter) below chin, dot border; reverse naked horseman galloping right, holding palm frond, head bare, flute (control symbol) above, L PISO FRVGI over P (control letter) below; $125.00 (€110.00)
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