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Rome - The Republic

Moneyer: M. Herennius
Held Office: 108 or 107 B.C.
Denomination: AR Denarius
Mint: Rome
Obverse: Head of Pietas right, wearing diadem, "PIETAS" behind, Z (control mark) before.
Reverse: Amphinomus, walking right, carrying his father Nisos, "M•HERENNI" downwards behind.
Reference: RRC 308/1a; RSC Herennia 1; RCVM 185
Weight: 3.9 gms
Diameter: 18.8 mm

M. Herennius

It is uncertain whether the moneyer, M. Herennius was a descendant of Herennius Siculus the Haruspex and used the story of the Catanaean brothers to recall the loyalty of the Haruspex to C. Gracchus, Herennius Siculus seems in any case despite his cognomen to have been Etruscan by origin, and the type was doubtless chosen not for its Sicilian associations, but because the story of the Catanaean brothers provided s well-known example of pietas in action.

Catanaean brothers

According to myth the Catanaean brothers (Amphinomos and Anapios) carried their parents to safety from Catania, Sicily during an eruption of Mt. Etna. The burden slowed their own escape, but the lava parted around them, and the family was miraculously saved. For the Romans the story of the Catanaean brothers exemplified familial piety.

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