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Early Coinage to 218 BCE


Over a few hundred years, as the Roman Republic evolved from small town to small empire, its monetary system evolved from weighed bronze lumps (Aes Rude) to a bi-metallic, struck coinage. This album captures that period of intense development. By the early third century BCE, Rome began producing currency bars (Aes Signatum) which circulated as bullion, and heavy cast bronze coins (Aes Grave) which were subsequently issued in various series from circa 280 to 215 BCE. While the mint of Rome produced Aes Grave and Currency Bars, Italo-Greek cities to the south struck the first silver Didrachms and related bronze coins bearing the legend “ROMANO.” The Didrachm coinage was issued infrequently until circa 240 BCE, when the ROMANO inscriptions were replaced with ROMA and Didrachm production increased. Perhaps with the influx of silver from the Carthaginian’s indemnity following the First Punic War, Rome introduced the large issue of Quadrigati circa 225 BCE, though Quadrigatus production would eventually decentralize when the Second Punic War ensued.

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Second Punic War (218-200 BCE)


The immense financial pressure of defending Hannibal’s invasion of Italy, and subsequent successes, are reflected in periods of debasement, reform and renewal in the Republican coinage of the Second Punic War period. This album depicts the upheaval and rebirth. We see gradual reduction in the weight standard of the bronze coinage and debasement of the Quadrigatus silver coinage. The semilibral reduction in the bronze coinage occurs from 217-215 BCE and is soon followed by further weight reductions. Bronze overstrikes are common during this period as coinage of defeated regions are restruck by Rome (Roman overstruck on foreign) and as Rome reduced the weight standard of its bronze currency (Roman overstruck on Roman). Eventually, the monetary system is completely reformed with the introduction of the Denarius coinage of good silver, the Victoriatus coinage (of not such good silver!) and the so-called sextantal struck bronzes. This denarius system would continue with occasional changes for the next 450 years.

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Second Century (199-100 BCE)


During the second century BCE, we see Roman moneyers becoming progressively more independent, both in terms of type selection and messaging on the coinage. The office of moneyer was an important early rung on the Cursus Honorum - the imposed political path toward consulship and personal prestige.   Testing traditional constraints, moneyers gradually chose types and inscriptions to increase their name recognition and brand for future elected offices.  Early in the century we see standard types (Roma/Dioscuri or Bigati) paired with symbols, initials and abbreviated monograms.  By the close of the century, full names and creative devices (some focusing on a moneyer's illustrious ancestors) are common. This use of the coinage as a propaganda device would continue to expand in the next century.

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Late Republic (99-49 BCE)


By the first century BCE, the Republican coinage had fully-matured into a personal propaganda medium for politicians on the rise.  Many of these politicians sided with Marius or Sulla during their supremacy struggle, and the selection of coin types sometimes reflect those alliances.  The abilities of the mint were tested during the Social War crisis of 90 BCE, which required massive expenditure in coined money to put down.  By the close of this period, a new supremacy struggle echoing Marius and Sulla would emerge - that between Pompey and Caesar - which would plunge the Roman world into years of civil war and eventually end the Republic.

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Imperatorial (49-27 BCE)


This era of the Roman Republic is referred to as the "Imperatorial" period, because it is marked by the political and military struggle for supremacy among the premier generals ("imperator" in Latin).  It begins with Caesar crossing the Rubicon with his legions,  challenging and ultimately defeating Pompey.  In preparing for his next great military challenge against the Parthians, Caesar would authorize the production of coins bearing his own portrait and honors - the first Roman to do so - completing the evolution of personal propaganda on Republican coinage.  Caesar would be assassinated before his Parthian campaign could launch.  The next 20 years of Roman coinage depict and reflect the various protagonists and antagonists and their respective allies in the supremacy struggles among Caesarians, Republicans, Octavian and Antony.  Following the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium, Octavian (later known as Augustus) would at last emerge as undisputed master of Rome and the Mediterranean world . This marks the end of the Republican coinage, and the commencement of Imperial coinage.

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5 albums on 1 page(s)

Last additions - Carausius's Gallery
Crawford 457/1, ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Julius Caesar and Aulus AllienusRome. The Imperators.
Julius Caesar and Aulus Allienus, 48 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.64g; 20mm; 6h).
Sicilian mint, 47 BCE.

Obverse: C CAESAR IMP COS ITER; diademed and draped bust of Venus, facing right.

Reverse: A ALLIENVS PRO COS; Trinacrus facing left, placing foot on prow and holding a triskeles and cloak.

References: Crawford 457/1; HCRI 54; Sydenham 1022 (R7); BMCRR Sicily 5; Alliena 1.

Provenance: Ex NAC Spring Sale (10 May 2021) Lot 1098; M. Ratto FPL 1 (Feb 1966) Lot 363.

Aulus Allienus was a friend of Cicero's. Two of Cicero's extant letters are addressed to him. He was the legate of Cicero's brother in Asia in 60 BC, and praetor in 49 BCE. In 48 BCE, he held the province of Sicily. He continued in Sicily until 47 BCE when he received the title of proconsul. While proconsul in Sicily, he sent troops to support Julius Caesar in Africa against the Pompeians. These coins were issued as initial pay for those troops.

The coin depicts Venus on the obverse, alluding to the Julia gens’ mythical descent from the goddess and her first appearance on a coin of Caesar (many would follow). On the reverse, Trinacrus holds a trinacria (triskeles), the symbol of “three-cornered” Sicily - his right foot on the prow of a vessel. These devices make clear the Sicilian origin of the issue. Trinacrus is described by numismatic scholars as a son of Neptune, whose myth appears to have been created as an explanation for the early name for Sicily (Trinacria), which is more likely derived from the island’s triangular shape. Grueber agreed with the Trinacrus attribution because the god is depicted in the same position as Neptune is often shown, with his foot on a prow.

The coin is one of the rarer issues in the name of Caesar (R7 in Sydenham). Crawford estimated fewer than 30 obverse dies and fewer than 33 reverse dies. Schaefer’s Roman Republican Die Project includes just 13 obverse and 13 reverse dies.
3 commentsCarausiusJun 06, 2021
Crawford 496/1, ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Marc Antony, AR DenariusRome. The Imperators.
Marc Antony, 44-31 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.95g; 18mm; 5h).
Military mint travelling with Antony, 42BCE.

Obverse: Antony's bearded head right; M ANTONI - IMP.

Reverse: Facing bust of Sol within distyle temple; III - VIR - R·P·C, around.

References: Crawford 496/1; HCRI 128; Sydenham 1168; BMCRR (Gaul) 62; Antonia 34.

Provenance: Hess Divo 329 (17 Nov 2015) lot 138; J.D. Collection [NAC 72 (16 May 2013) lot 1272]; Gilbert Steinberg Collection [NAC-Spink Taisei (16 Nov 1994) lot 1994]; Numismatic Fine Arts FPL 15 (Jul-Aug 1979) lot 33.

This coin was likely struck shortly after Brutus’s and Cassius’s defeat at Philippi in 42 BCE. Antony is still shown with his beard of mourning (he and Octavian would not shave until Caesar’s assassination was avenged), and it’s likely that the die engravers had not yet been instructed to remove the beard following Philippi. This is the last bearded image of Antony to appear on his coinage. There were two versions of this coin type: one with IMP spelled the standard way, as on this example; the other with IMP ligate. The reverse type emphasizing Sol was a common theme on Antony’s eastern coinage, perhaps reflecting his growing enchantment with eastern Hellenistic culture.
2 commentsCarausiusJun 06, 2021
Crawford 041/5, ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous Post-Semilibral, AE As (Struck)Rome, The Republic.
Anonymous. 215-212 BCE.
AE As (58.04g; 37mm; 12h).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Laureate head of Janus: I (mark-of-value) above.

Reverse: Prow facing right; I (mark-of-value) above; ROMA in exergue.

References: Cr 41/--; see Russo, Essays Hersh, no. 1; McCabe Group A2.

Provenance: Ex Vitangelo Collection [Roma e-Sale 80 (4 Feb 2021) lot 937].

The earliest two series of struck bronze Asses (McCabe A1 and A2) were heavy and struck on broad flans in low relief. The flans for A2 were produced in two-part moulds, and often show casting voids as on this specimen. Russo and McCabe consider these part of the Crawford 41 series of early struck prow bronzes, which is otherwise incomplete (except by near contemporaneous aes grave asses).
1 commentsCarausiusFeb 28, 2021
Crawford 407/2, ROMAN REPUBLIC, C. Hosidius C. f. Geta, AR DenariusRome, The Republic.
C. Hosidius C. f. Geta, 68 BC.
AR Denarius (3.91g; 17mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: IIIVIR – GETA; diademed bust of Diana, facing right, with quiver of arrows over shoulder.

Reverse: C.HOSIDI.C.F.; wounded boar running to right, pursued by hound.

References: Crawford 407/2; Sydenham 903; Hosidia 1.

Provenance: Ex Kunker Auction 257 (10 Oct 2014), Lot 8422.

This type was struck in a serrate and plain-edged variety. Obverse and reverse styles differed on both varieties. Additionally, there are very rare hybrids, with the style and legend variety of one type on edge style flans of the other. The hound on the coins of C. Hosidius are shown in two distinct styles: on the non-serrate coins, in an ultra-slim, almost linear body style; and on the serrate coins, in a more lifelike, heavier style. In both cases, the hunting scene suggests that this dog should be a Laconian or Vertragus hound. Indeed, the dog is slim on both types, with a short haired tail – not a bushy tail, like a Molossian.
2 commentsCarausiusFeb 21, 2021
Crawford 26/4, ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AE Half LitraRome, The Republic.
Anonymous. 234-231 BCE.
AE Half Litra (1.93g; 13mm; 12h).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of Roma in Phrygian helmet, facing right.

Reverse: Dog prancing toward right; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 26/4; BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 44-48.

Provenance: Ex CB Collection; privately bought from Baldwins 7 Jan 2011; Rauch Auction 87 (8 Dec 2010) lot 189.

Another example of this charming type, and a bit heavier and larger than the previous example. The pose of the dog is unusual, as it appears to be prancing in some way, and the dog is rendered somewhat differently between dies. On many dies, its snout is clearly upturned, perhaps honing a scent. On some dies, the dog is rendered skinnier than others, with ribs visible. All things considered, I believe the coins show a Laconian or Vertragus hound, two popular breeds of Roman hunting hounds.
CarausiusFeb 21, 2021
Crawford 26/4, ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AE Half LitraRome, The Republic.
Anonymous. 234-231 BCE.
AE Half Litra (1.58g; 12mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of Roma in Phrygian helmet, facing right.

Reverse: Dog prancing toward right; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 26/4; BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 44-48.

Provenance: Ex NAC 84 (20 May 2015), Lot 765; purchased privately from Or Gestion Numismatique (Paris) in 2009.

The pose of the dog is unusual, as it appears to be prancing in some way, and the dog is rendered somewhat differently between dies. On many dies, its snout is clearly upturned, perhaps honing a scent. On some dies, the dog is rendered skinnier than others, with ribs visible. All things considered, I believe the coins show a Laconian or Vertragus hound, two popular breeds of Roman hunting hounds.
CarausiusFeb 21, 2021
Crawford 27/3, ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AE Double LitraRome, The Republic.
Anonymous Club Series, circa 230 BCE.
AE Double Litra (5.3g; 19mm; 6h).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Youthful head of Hercules in lion skin headdress, facing right; club below.

Reverse: Pegasus flying to right; club behind; ROMA below.

References: Crawford 27/3; Sydenham 7; BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 51-2; Historia Numorum Italy 316.

Provenance: Ex Judy Day Fink Coll. [CNG (7 Jan 2021) lot 366]; bought from Ed Waddell.

Another example of this type, with better surfaces than the prior and a charming green patina. This is among the earlies struck Roman bronze coinage to be issued in concert with Roman silver coinage. Both the 27/1 Didrachm and this AE Double Litra (and its related Litra) share a common club symbol on obverse and reverse. The dating for this type has been in flux, with Crawford choosing a later date of 230-226 BCE while Burnett recently assigned a date just before 230 BCE.
CarausiusFeb 21, 2021
Crawford 145/1, ROMAN REPUBLIC, Victory & Spearhead Series, AE AsRome. The Republic.
Victory and Spearhead
Series, 189-180 BCE.
AE As (31.14g; 33mm; 5h).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Laureate head of Janus; I (mark-of-value) above.

Reverse: Prow facing right; Victory crowning spearhead above; I (mark-of-value) to right; ROMA below.

References: Crawford 145/1; Sydenham 293; BMCRR 497

Provenance: Ex Barone Dr. Pompeo Bonazzi di Sannicandro (1876-1956) Collection [R. Ratto (23 January 1924), Lot 264].

Grueber surmises that the symbols on this type may allude to a military victory by an ancestor of the anonymous moneyer. He mentions the use of Victory as a symbol on later denarii by C. Terrentius Lucanus (Crawford 217/1 – see my example in this gallery), suggesting this coin may have been produced by a member of the Terrentia gens; but this is pure conjecture.

This coin is a strong example of a type that generally comes either poorly struck or poorly preserved. The coin was part of the important Bonazzi Collection, which was sold anonymously in two parts by Rodolfo Ratto in the mid-1920s. Bonazzi began collecting about 1910 and quickly assembled a broad collection of Roman Republican coins in a very short time. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he favored bronze coins that were un-tooled, and this coin boasts excellent, natural surfaces.
CarausiusFeb 21, 2021
Crawford 504/1, ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Brutus and C. Flavius Hemicillus, AR DenariusRome. The Imperators.
Q. Caepio Brutus & C. Flavius Hemicillus, 44-42 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.83g; 19mm; 12h).
Military Mint, Early Summer 42 BCE.

Obverse: C·FLAV·HEMIC·LEG·PRO·PR; Draped bust of Apollo, facing right with lyre before.

Reverse: Q·CAEP·BRVT·IMP; Victory holding palm branch and crowning trophy.

References: Crawford 504/1; HCRI 205; Syd 1294 (R7); BMCRR East 55; Junia 49; Servilia 31.

Provenance: Ex Barry Feirstein Collection [NAC 45 (2 Apr 2008) Lot 38]; privately purchased from Harlan J. Berk Ltd.

This rare type was issued by Brutus and his legate during the lead-up to the decisive battle of Phillipi. There is debate as to whether this legate is named in the historical texts, because there are multiple, conflicting references to Flaviuses serving with Brutus.
1 commentsCarausiusFeb 21, 2021
Crawford 362/1, ROMAN REPUBLIC, C. Mamilius Limetanus, AR DenariusRome. The Republic.
C. Mamilius Limetanus, 82 BC.
AR Serrate Denarius (3.97g; 20mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Draped bust of Mercury facing right, wearing winged petasus ; caduceus over l. shoulder; behind, I.

Reverse: C·MAMIL – LIMETAN Ulysses advancing right, holding staff and extending his right hand to his dog Argus.

References: Crawford 362/1; Sydenham 741; Mamilia 6.

Provenance: NAC Sale 78 (26 May 2014), Lot 627.

The Mamilia gens claimed descent from Telegonus, the son of Ulysses and Circe, and so they depict Ulysses on their coins. This denarius is probably the most popular “dog” type in Roman numismatics, depicting the famous scene from Homer’s Odyssey in which Odysseus returns home to Ithaca, disguised as a beggar, and is recognized only by his faithful dog, Argus, who dies after greeting his long-lost master. Homer clearly describes Argus as a hunting hound, trained by Odysseus before he left for Troy. During Odysseus’ absence, Argus hunted deer, hare and wild goats. The 20-year-old Argus is described by Homer as swift, strong and a good tracker in his youth. On the coin, he looks like a slim and short-haired Laconian hound.

The purpose of serrate denarii has long been disputed. They were first employed for the Wheel Series denarii of 209-208 BCE (Crawford 79/1) and were used from time to time thereafter. Some argue that they were meant to complicate counterfeiting (at least a partial failure, as fourree serrati are known); others that that were intended to display solid metal content for certain government expenses; others that they were merely decorative. An interesting theory that I recently read suggest they were intended to dissuade mint workers from swallowing denarii while on the job! No serrate denarii were produced after 59 BCE (Crawford 412/1, redated by Hersh and Walker), so either they were not particularly effective at their intended purpose, or the added production costs were simply too great, or the need (whatever it was) ceased. The serrations were almost certainly cut prior to striking, as the chisel cuts are typically flattened by the strike.
1 commentsCarausiusFeb 19, 2021
Crawford 409/1, ROMAN REPUBLIC, M. Plaetorius Cestianus, AR DenariusRome, The Republic.
M. Plaetorius M.F. Cestianus, 67 BCE.
AR Denarius (4.03g; 18mm; 5h).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: CESTIANVS – SC; Draped bust of winged goddess (Vacuna? Isis? Fortuna?) wearing plumed helmet with corn-ear wreath and quiver, facing right, with cornucopia before; all within bead and reel border.

Reverse: M·PLAETORIVS·M F AED CVR; Eagle on thunderbolt with spread wings and head facing left; all within bead and reel border.

References: Crawford 409/1; Sydenham 809; BMCRR 3596; Plaetoria 4.

Provenance: Ex CNG Auction 55 (13 May 2000) Lot 1058; Munzen und Medaillen 53 (29 Nov 1977) Lot 198.

The moneyer is Marcus Plaetorius Cestianus, who was Curule Aedile in 67 BCE and Praetor in 64 BCE. Cestianus issued coins in two different years – once as Curule Aedile (those coins with AED CVR also in their inscriptions) and a second time in a non-aedile capacity, but in both cases by order of the Senate as both series contain “SC” in their inscriptions. The presence of AED CVR in the reverse inscription of this coin identifies it as part of his earlier, Curule Aedile issue of 67 BCE. In their analysis of the Messagne hoard, Hersh and Walker redated the non-aedile coins to 57 BCE. They note that Cestianus’ non-aedile issues do not appear in hoards until long after his Curule Aedile issues of 67 BCE, and they postulate that he issued the non-aedile coins in 57 BCE as pro-praetor (having been praetor in 64 BCE).

The identity of the goddess depicted on the obverse of this coin has long been debated by scholars. The bust mixes attributes of multiple deities, including Minerva (helmet), Diana (quiver), Victory (wings), Ceres (grain wreath, cornucopia), Apollo (curls). These mixed characteristics led some to identify the bust as the Sabine goddess Vacuna, who was often conflated with other deities, though Crawford thought that attribution was incorrect. Others think the obverse may be Isis because of the wreath (which may appear to include lotus and poppy on some specimens) and note the similarity of the reverse to a Ptolemaic eagle. Harlan 2012, agrees with Meyboom 1995 that Fortuna is the only goddess that combines cornucopia, armor and wings, and Harlan suggests this is the likely attribution of the bust. He also notes that the Plaetorii were from Tusculum where an inscription records the care of the temple of Fortuna by an aedile of the Plaetoria gens (Marcus, son of Lucius – not our moneyer). Note that a later coin of Cestianus (which can be found in my Forum gallery here ) refers to the worship/oracle of Fortuna at Praeneste. This moneyer was descended from a Cestia gens member who had been adopted into the Plaetoria gens, and the Cestia had ties to Praeneste. So, indeed, Fortuna seems a reasonable candidate for the bust attribution.
3 commentsCarausiusJan 16, 2021
Crawford 494/39, ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, L. Mussidius Longus, AR Denarius Rome, The Imperators.
L. Mussidius Longus. 42 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.72g; 16mm).
Rome mint, 42 BCE.

Obverse: Wreathed head of Julius Caesar facing right.

Reverse: L·MVSSIDIVS·LONGVS; caduceus on globe, flanked by rudder, cornucopia and apex.

References: Crawford 494/39a; HCRI 116; Sydenham 1096a; BMCRR Rome 4238-9; Mussidia 8; Julia 58.

Provenance: Ex Heritage Auction 3087 (17 Dec 2020) Lot 30041; Dr. Walter F. Stöcklin (d. 1975) Collection [Nomos Obolos 9 (25 Mar 2018) Lot 108]; acquired before 1975.

The moneyer is not otherwise known to history. Struck during the lead-up to Phillipi, the coin certainly reflects favor on the Caesarian side of the conflict, with the portrait of the late dictator on the obverse and devices referring to Caesar’s accomplishments on the reverse. The rudder and globe refer to Caesar’s military success and imperium over land and sea. The apex refers to his position as Pontifex Maximus. The cornucopia and caduceus allude to the blessings and happiness that Caesar bestowed on Rome. Multiple legend arrangements appear on this type, with curved and straight-line arrangements sometimes above, beside and below the devices.

The obverse fields show some raised striations, possibly caused from die cleaning or otherwise preparing the die for use. Other examples from the same obverse die show similar field striations.

This coin comes from the Stöcklin Collection, sold by Nomos over a series of auctions beginning with Nomos 14 in 17 May 2017. The collection consisted of ancient coins assembled over three generations in the family by Sebastian Roš (1839-1917), his son-in-law Dr. Walter F. Stöcklin (1888-1975) and grandson Dr. Walter M. Stöcklin (d. 1981).
3 commentsCarausiusJan 09, 2021

Random files - Carausius's Gallery
Crawford 084/5, ROMAN REPUBLIC, Roma Monogram Series, AE SemisRome, The Republic.
ROMA Monogram Series, 211-210 BCE.
AE Semis (16.09g; 28mm).
Mint in Southeast Italy.

Obverse: Laureate head of Saturn facing right; S (mark-of-value) behind.

Reverse: Ship's prow facing right; S (mark-of-value) above: ROMA below; ROMA in monogram to right.

References: Crawford 84/5; Sydenham 190a; BMCRR (Italy) 193; RBW 344.

Provenance: Ex Triskeles 5 (27 June 2013), Lot 110; RBW Collection (not in prior sales); Sternberg XXVI (16 November 1992), Lot 227.

Several 19th century researchers thought that the monogram could represent a family name, such as Romilia or Romanillus. Today, it is generally accepted as a monogram for Roma.
Crawford 103/1, ROMAN REPUBLIC, MT Series, AR Victoriatus - VERY RARERome, The Republic.
MT Series, 211-210 BCE.
AR Victoriatus (2.79g; 17mm).
Apulian mint.

Obverse: Laureate head of Jupiter facing right, hair falling in neat ringlets; border of dots.

Rev: Victory crowning trophy; MT ligate in lower right field; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 103/1c; Crawford Plate XX (same dies); Sydenham 117; BMCRR (Italy) 232.

Provenance: Ex RBW Collection [NAC 61 (Oct 2011), Lot 457]; purchased from Ed Waddell in Dec. 1983.

About 212 BCE, when the Romans introduced the denarius system, they also introduced a collateral denomination of silver coin, the victoriatus. As evidenced by its different weight standard, debased metal, iconography and missing denominational mark, the victoriatus was not integral to the denarius system but was produced for a special purpose. While the denarius and its fractions, the quinarius and sestertius, all depicted Roma and the Dioscuri, victoriati depicted Jupiter and Victory crowning a trophy. Further, while denarii were produced from nearly pure silver, victoriati were made from debased silver of about 70% purity. Based on the weight standard of Magna Graecia drachms, victoriati were likely designed specifically for payments to Greek cities of southern Italy and hoard evidence supports circulation largely in southern Italy.

The MT Victoriati come in three varieties: those with straggly hair (which come with either a bead and reel border or border of dots) and those with neat hair. This example is the “neat hair” variety. MT Series Victoriati are very rare; there were only three examples (including this specimen) on acsearch on 9/15/18. Crawford counted only six obverse and five reverse dies covering all 3 varieties of the type.

Rome ceased issuing victoriati circa 170 BCE. Perhaps because of their debased metal (which discouraged hoarding), victoriati continued to circulate in Gaul for many years until they functioned as de facto quinarii due to metal loss from wear. Their continued popularity caused Rome to later issue quinarii bearing the same devices (Jupiter/Victory and trophy).
Crawford 337/5, ROMAN REPUBLIC, D. Silanus, AE AsRome. The Republic
Decimus Silanus, 91 BCE
AE As (13.46g; 28mm)
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of Janus; I (mark of value = 1 As) above.

Reverse: Prow facing right; D SILANVS L F, above.

References: Crawford 337/5; Sydenham 649; BMCRR 1853-8; Junia 23; RBW 1234 (this coin).

Provenance: Ex Roma Auction XI (7 Apr 2016), Lot 590; ex RBW Collection [NAC 63 (2012), Lot 9]; purchased privately from Freeman & Sear 14 Jan 2006.

The moneyer is unknown except for his coins. The As is the only denomination of bronze coin known to have been struck in Silanus’s name. There was a full series of contemporaneous, anonymous bronze coins struck in response to the Lex Papiria. It’s likely that additional bronze coin production was simply not required, and so Silanus focused on silver coin production to defray the costs of the war.

Bronze coins of this era of the Republic often have pronounced casting sprues from the flan production phase of the minting process. This coin has a sprue at 11h obverse, 7h reverse. These are an expected part of the fabric of Roman Republican bronze coins of the Social War era.

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