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Rome - The Republic

Moneyer: A. Postumius A.f. S..n. Albinus
Held Office: 81 BC
Denomination: AR Denarius (serrated)
Mint: Rome
Obverse: Draped bust of Diana right, bow and quiver over shoulder, bucranium above.
Reverse: Togate figure standing left before flaming altar, holding sprinkler over sacrificial bull, all on stone platform. "A•POST•A•F - S•N•ALBIN" (AL in monogram)
Reference: RSC I Postumia 7, RCVM 296, RRC 372/1
Weight: 4.0 gms
Diameter: 19.5 mm

A. Postumius A.f. S..n. Albinus

This coin may allude to the moneyer's ancestor, Aulus Postimius Albus and the Battle of Lake Regillus. The battle was a legendary Roman victory over the Latin League shortly after the establishment of the Roman Republic. The Latins were led by an elderly Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the seventh and last King of Rome, who had been expelled in 509 BC, and his son-in-law, Octavius Mamilius, the dictator of Tusculum. The battle marked the final attempt of the Tarquins to reclaim their throne. The threat of invasion by Rome's former allies in Latium led to the appointment of Aulus Postumius Albus as dictator.

The year in which the battle occurred is unclear, but may have been between 499 and 489 BC.

Lake Regillus was located in the relic of a volcanic crater between Rome and Tusculum. The lake was drained in the fourth century BC.

The dictator Postumius led the Roman infantry, while Titus Aebutius Elva was Master of the Horse. Tarquin was accompanied by his eldest and last remaining son, Titus.

The result was a decisive Roman victory. Postumius and his army returned to Rome, where the dictator celebrated a triumph.

A popular legend reported that the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux, fought alongside the Romans, transfigured as two young horsemen. Postumius ordered a temple built in their honour in the Roman Forum, in the place where they had watered their horses.

The bust of Diana recalls that before the battle a special sacrifice was made at her temple on the Aventine, depicted on the reverse of the coin.

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