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Aes Formatum
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Ancient Coin Collecting 101
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Dictionary of Roman Coins
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Julian II: The Beard and the Bull
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Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
ANCILIA-- Buclers, or shields, so denominated because they were cut sloping on each side. The Romans pretended that one had fallen from heaven during a plague which had desolated their city, in the reign of Numa; and this miraculous present having stayed the pestilence, the aruspices declared that the empire of the world was destined for the people, by whom this bucker should be preserved. — Numa, who so well knew the art of making superstition conduce to political advantages, ordered several other shields to be made in exact resemblance to this heaven-descended one, lest so precious a figt should be purloined; and he deposited the whole in the temple of Mars.— From the sanctuary they were taken when war was declared. And twelve priests, called Salii, to whose care they were confided, bore them, on stated days, in procession about the public places and streets of Rome. It is this which they called movere ancilia, and it was a bad augury to go into the country before they were replaced, as Suetonius explains by these words: —Sed et motis, necdum conditis ANCILIBVS.
On denarii of P. Stolo, of the 
Licinia family —one of the moneyers of Augustus, is a reverse type of the ancilia between which is the apex, or cap, of one of the Salii, with the inscription P. STOLO. III. VIR. (an engraving of which is given above).— The obverse of this silver coin bears the legend of AVGVSTVS TR. POT. and an equestrian statue of that emperor, to whose honour (about A.D. 23), the statue was erected. It was in the month of March, when the twelve Salian pirests celebrated their rites, which consisted chiefly in carrying the sacred bucklers in the left hand, leapins, and striking in cadence on them, with a javelin, or rod, which they held in their right. This ceremony always finished with superb banquets, called Saliares Caenae ––See Apex.

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