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Minucia



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   MINVCIA.  A plebian family whose surnames, as they appear on coins, are Augurinus, Rufus and Thermus. The gold are very rare and the silver common. Some of the latter, restored by Trajan, are of high price. The brass pieces of this family are parts of the As. Among the same types is one in silver having on its obverse a female head helmeted, and on the reverse the legend Q THERMus M F.  Two soldiers armed with sword and buckler, engaged in combat with another soldier similarly armed on his knees between them.
   This type clearly points to the honor of having saved a Roman citizen's life in battle, but leaves in doubt to whom the glory of this distinguished exploit belongs. Morell gives his reasons in some length for believing that this denarius was struck by Quintus Minucius Thermus, the son of Marcus (as the inscription indicates). He was a monetal triumvir perhaps or quatnorvir under Julius Caesar. He had just attained the direction of affairs in that public department and had particularly fixed on this type in order at once to compliment Caesar and recall his own father's prowess to rememberance. For we have the testimony of Suctonius that Caesar made the first payments to the legions in Asia in the tent of Marcus Thermus and that Caesar was presented by the same Thermus, with a civic crown at the taking of Mitylene.

   The head of Pallus or of Rome, winged. Behind it an X.
   Rev - C MINVCI C F AVGVRINI.  A fluted or chamfered column on which a staue is placed. On the left of the column stands a man in the augural habit and holding the lituus. To the left stands another togated figure holding in each hand something uncertain and planting his left foot on something equally doubtful. From the base of the column on each side springs a corn ear. Above, ROMA.
   These denarii revive the memory of Lucius Minucius who is also by Pliny called Augurinus. He was Praefectus Annonae when Spurius Maelius was attemting to corrupt the populace with largesses of corn.  Augurinus detected his pernicious designs, reported him to the Senate and then at a low price distributed the corn to the common people. On this account (according to Pliny) a statue was erected to him outside the Porta Trigemina in Rome at the public expense. The statue in question is here represented mounted on a column as Vaillant says striata or fluted. Perhaps says Havercamp with more ingenuity than judgement, consisting of modii (or bushel measures) placed one on top of another. In connection with the subject which the medal was struck to commemorate there are corn ears rising up from the base of this pillar. (Doct. num. vet. vol V, p. 255).


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