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Crawford 400/1, ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Axsius Naso, AR Denarius
Rome, The Republic.
L. Axsius Naso, 71 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.90g; 20mm).
Rome mint.

Obverse: Beardless head of Mars in helmet with side-feather plumes and peaked visor, facing right; VII (control mark), behind.

Reverse: Diana driving biga of stags to right, spear in right hand; hounds below and behind: VII (control mark) in left field: LAXSIVSLF in exergue.

References: Crawford 400/1a; Sydenham 794 (R6); BMCRR 3448-53; Axia 1.

Provenance: Ex Auctiones eAuction 66 (15 Dec 2019), Lot 224; purchased privately from Nomos; Sir Charles Oman (d. 1946) Collection [Christie's (2 July 1968) Lot 15 (part)].

The moneyer was identified as a banker on a contemporary tessera nummularia (small bone piece attached to groups of coins for accounting purposes). He is not otherwise known. There are two obverse varieties of this issue of coins, one on which Mars helmet is crested and plumed and the other (this coin) with just side plumes. The dies were paired with matching, Roman numeral control marks; however, the same control marks are known to be used on multiple die pairs. Die numbers I-X were used on this variety. Die numbers XI-XX were used on the crested helmet variety.

Among other things, the goddess Diana was a hunting goddess equated with Artemis and a moon goddess equated with Luna. As huntress, she is often portrayed with bow or spear. In the case of this coin and others of the Republican series, her chariot is drawn by stags which also allude to her hunting connection. The addition of the hounds on this type makes the hunting connection abundantly clear.

This coin is from the Sir Charles Oman Collection. Sir Charles Oman (1860-1946) was a well-publishedmilitary historian andnumismatist. As an historian, he is widely regarded for restructuring medeival battles from myriad accounts. He authored an important book on English coinage in 1931. He collected Greek silver,Romanand English Coins. He was President of the Royal Numismatic Society from 1919-1930 (a remarkable run). He received theMedalof the Royal Numismatic Society in 1928.
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Date added:
Dec 26, 2019
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Jay GT4  [Dec 27, 2019 at 03:09 AM]
Amazing
quadrans  [Feb 06, 2020 at 05:09 PM]
wow, great coin,
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