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SCROFA



Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
     SCROFA, a surname used by the Romans.
     Scrofa.-- The figure of a sow, with or without
a litter of pigs, appears on several Roman coins,
as well imperial as consular. Among other
instances, on a denarius of the moneyer Veturia,
there is a sow, which a man on his knees holds
between two soldiers, one of whom carries a
spear upright, the other a spear reversed, and
each touches the sow with a stick or with their
daggers. (See Veturia.) -- This is considered by
some allusive to the treaty of peace between
Romulus and Tatius. -- Another silver moneyers coin
(amongst the Incerta of Morell) represents eight
men standing, four on one side and four on the
other of the kneeling figure, and each touches
the sow with his short stick or dagger. On a
coin of the moneyer Sulpicia are seen standing two
military figures, armed with spears, who point
with the right hand to a sow lying on the ground
between them. (See Sulpicia.) -- This curious
reverse, and others similar to it, have given rise
to various opinions amongst the learned. Eckhel,
after stating all, gives his in favour of the view
taken by Ericius, namely, that the figures
personify the Dei Penates of Lavinium, and that
the animal represents the sow, with its thirty
pigs, which was the cause, according to the
Roman legend, of ∆neas building in a certain
spot the city of Lavinium. (See ∆neas.)
-- On a silver coin of Vespasian, accompanying
the abbreviated inscription IMP. XIX.
is the figure of a sow and pigs, doubtless referring
to the same portentous mother and brood
of thirty which were seen by ∆neas, and to
which Virgil adverts at the beginning of the
eight book of his immortal poem, in the words
addressed in the dream by "Father Tiber" to the
Trojan chief.
   This favourite incident of Roman tradition,
in the way of marvellous augury, is graphically
shadowed forth on two finely designed and boldly
relieved medallions in bronze of Antoninus Pius,
both without epigraph. The former of these
represents ∆neas disembarking by a plank from
a ship on the shore of Latium, where, holding
his son Ascanius by the hand, he contemplates
a sow suckling its little ones under an oak tree,
above which appear the walls of a city. The
latter exhibits the fortified gate of a city,
above which stands a sow with her young : behind
is ∆neas carrying Anchises, an altar lighted,
and a round temple. The town, which is depicted
on the last-mentioned coin, is Lavinium, according
to Eckhel, who has more fully explained the
subject in his annotations on the denarii of
Sulpicius rufus. -- See Sulpicius.
  Kolb in his Traitť de Numismatique Ancienne,
gives (pl. vii. fig. 13) a second brass of Antoninus,
with a sow and litter under a tree, evidently
in allusion to the same fable.

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