Oppia


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OPPIA. - This family is known to have been of the plebian order, from the tribunes and ediles of the people, who belonged to it.  Its surnames were Capito and Salinator. - The former appears on brqass coins of Mark Antony, struk during his triumvirate.  The latter may be considered as belonging to two families, viz., Livia and Oppia. - In the whole there are nine varieties, all of second brass.  The rarest of which bears on its obverse the double head of Janus, and on the reverse C. CASSI. L. SALIN. The prow of a galley, with the doubtful epigraph of DSS. - Livy affirms that L. Oppius Salinator was sent in the year of Rome 561, with a fleet to guard the coast of Sicily, and to bring back a supply of corn.  And this frumentatio is regarded by Havercamp as here commemorated.  Eckhel, however shows that such an inference is not to be drawn mearly from a ship's prow which is in fact a perperual and almost exclusive type on the brass coinage of Republician Rome.  There are bronze pieces of this family struck at Cyreniaca. The following second brass is probably one of them: The head of Venus, with a capricorn behind it -Rev. Q. OPPIVS PR. Victory walking, holds on her right shoulder a long palm branch, and in her left hand a patera containing fruit.

According to Havercamp, the letters PR. are to be read Praefectus and Oppius was one of the eight prefects whom Julius Caesar, on setting out fromSpain, appointed to act for him at Rome. - " The opinion (says Eckhel) I have enlarged upon in commenting on the medals of the Cestia family; and as I have there noticed its vagueness and uncertainty, so I hesitate not to assert that repecting these coins of Oppius he is greatly mistaken.  For the capricorn which in some of them is placed beside the head of Venus, points to a later period; in all probability the time when Augusts was at the head of Roman affairs and in honour of whom alone that fabulous animal was engraved on medals.  Moreover, the fabric of the coins themselves, bears evidence of their not having proceeded from the mint of Rome, insomuch that in all likelihood they were struck in some province


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