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Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.SERVILIA, an Alban family, transferred to Rome, after the destruction of Alba, by king Tullus, and elected into the patrician order, according to Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. It became divided into many branches, none of whose names, however, are recorded on coins except Ahala, Caepio, Casca, and Rullus. The two last were plebeian.
Caepio. -- For denarii inscribed PISOCAEPIO Q. -- See Calpurnia. The following silver coin, belonging to the Servilia family, is of historical interest : -- A laureated female head. No legend. -- Rev. Q. CAEPIOBRVTVS. IMP. (on some others PRO COS.) Two captives at the foot of a trophy. The above are the names and titles of that M. Junius Brutus, who stabbed Caesar. It is thus that he is designated on denarii, and the fact is confirmed by writers of his time ; among others by Cicero, who, at the end of the Tenth Philipic, repeatedly calls him Q. CaepioBrutus, proconsul. Whence (adds Eckhel) it becomes certain that he was adopted by Q. Servilius Caepio ; who was his uncle on the side of his mother Servilia. But he did not, after the usual custom of using the family name, call himself Junianus ; perhaps because at that period there was already a Crassus Junianus ; but he turns the surname of his adoption Caepio into the name, retaining his cognomen of Brutus. With respect to the inscription of IMPerator on the above denarius and others of Brutus, Dion assigns the time and the reason of Brutus's accepting this title, namely, that he went on an expedition against the Bessi of Thrace, as well with a view to punish the hostilities of that savage tribe, as in order to gain for himself the name and dignity of Imperator (see the word), wherewith he might the more easily carry on war against Caesar, and against Antony, and make an end of both. According to Plutarch, Brutus, together with Cassius, was proclaimed Imperator by the army, at Sandis. On a denarius of Brutus, bearing on its obverse a female head and the word LIBERTAS, the reverse is charged with the inscription CAEPIOBRVTVS PRO. COS., and the type is a lyre between a laurel branch and a stylus. The word PROCOS is affixed (instead of Imp.) on this coin and others of M. Brutus, because he governed the province of Macedonia with proconsular authority.
Casca. -- Connected with this surname there are two coins, one most rare in gold, the other very rare in silver, both inscribed CASCA LONGVS ; the gold has on the obverse a trophy between two prows, the silver bears the laureated head of Neptune. On the reverse of the former is BRVTVS IMP. and the bare head of MarcusBrutus. The reverse of the latter exhibits Victory marching, with a garland and palm branch, and the same inscriptionBRVTVS IMP. Plutarch states that the two brothers Servilii Cascae were amongst the assassins of Caesar. Of these P. Casca, whom Dion asserts to have been a tribune of the people, struck the first blow at the Dictator. Afterwards, when war was declared against the murderers, he associated himself with Brutus, amongst whose friends in that war P. Casca is classed by Plutarch, and we see their names united on the above described coins. Appin states that Caius was the prenomen of the other Casca. But there is a prolix and tedious examination in Havercamp, as to whether Casca and Longus be surnames (cognomina) of different families, and whether Longus be the agnomen of Casca, or otherwise. -- The types of these two denarii allude to some maritimevictory ; which it was is uncertain. -- Doct. Num. Vet. vol. v. p. 308.
Rullus. -- A common silver coin exhibits the cognomen of the Servilia family, namely, RVLLI, with the bust of Minerva. On the reverseside P. SERVILI. M. F. and Victory galloping in a biga. P. Servilius Rullus is known as that plebeian tribune whose agrarian law Cicero, when consul, stoutly opposed in an oration which is still extant. The father of the tribune, also named P. Servilius Rullus, was the man of whom Pliny says, that he first at feasts served up a wild boar whole to table. It is uncertain to which of the two this denarius belongs.
Amongst other uncertain coins of the Servilii, Eckhel takes a copiously intelligent notice of a denarius of no rarity, but nevertheless of some historical interest, from the legend and type of its obverse, allusive to the public shows celebrated at Rome under the name of Floralia. -- See FLORAL. PRIMVS. To which M. Servilius, lieutenant (LEGatus) of Brutus and Cassius the following coins belong, has been matter of much controversy, hitherto with no benefit resulting. He seems to have been the same individual whom Cicero calls a tribune of the people, and to have arrayed himself on the side of liberty ; but the surname does not appear. The former of the two denarii (very rare in gold) presents types that agree with the times of Brutus and of Cassius ; namely C. CASSEI. IMP. A young female head laureated. -- Rev. SERVILIVS. LEG. The aplustrum. The latter denarius bears the same head on its obverse, and on the reverse appears the inscription SERVILVS (M.) LEG., with a crab fish griping an acrostolium in its claws ; below it is the flower of the pomegranate (balaustium) and a diadem unbound. -- On this enigmatical reverse both Vaillant and Havercamp have offered comments, abounding more in the wondrous, but partaking much less of the probable, than the following remarks of Eckhel :-- "As the above type is plainly allegorical, the very manes of the ancients will pardon us, if we sometimes decline attempting to explain the riddles under which they often veil the truth. The following conjecture alone perhaps carries probability with it, namely, that the balaustium or flower of the pomegranate (since this obviously was the symbol of the Rhodians), alludes to the victory gained by Cassius over these islanders, recorded by Dion and Appian. It may be added, that there appears in the lower part of the coin, a diadem unbound ; and that it is a diadem, I confidently assert, from an inspection of the best preserved specimens of this denarius in the Imperial Museum (at Vienna) ; although in engravings it is always represented as if it were a shoot springing from the stem of the pomegranate flower. It is difficult to imagine what is the meaning of this diadem ; unless it may perhaps allude to the fall of the regal power which Julius Caesar aimed at." For a description of the acrostolium see the word in loco. Twent-five varieties of the Servilia coins are given in Morell. -- The gold are extremely rare, the silver common. The brass pieces of this family are parts of the As, and are very rare.