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Roman Republican Coin # 72: Crawford 282/5 (Roma/Gallic Warrior in Biga)


DonnaML
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This subtype (along with all the similar subtypes grouped under Crawford 282) is not difficult to find, but this example particularly appealed to me because I believe the reverse design is well above average in how clearly it shows the warrior, his shield, and his dragon carnyx.

Roman Republic, L. Porcius Licinius, L. Licinius Crassus and Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, AR Serrate Denarius, Narbo Mint [Narbo Martius colony (Narbonne), Province of Gaul], 118 BCE [year of Narbo’s founding].*  Obv. Head of Roma right wearing winged helmet, necklace, and drop earring, with hair in two curling locks extending down from helmet; L•PORCI upwards in front; LICI downwards behind followed by mark of value * [= XVI asses] behind neck / Rev. Naked, bearded Gallic warrior [possibly Bituitus, king of Arverni; see 2nd fn.] driving galloping biga right, holding shield with criss-cross pattern, dragon-head carnyx, and reins in left hand, and hurling spear with right hand; in exergue, L•LIC•CN•DOM. Crawford 282/5; BMCRR I Rome 1187; RSC I Porcia 8 (ill. p. 81) [this type is also RSC I Licinia 15 and Domitia 19]; Sear RCV I 158; see also Yarrow p. 110 & Fig. 2.68 at p. 113 [Liv Mariah Yarrow, The Roman Republic to 49 BCE: Using Coins as Sources (2021)]; RBW Collection 1110 (ill. p. 229); Foss p. 2 (The Republic No. 2a) [Clive Foss, Roman Historical Coins (Seaby, London, 1990)].  20 mm., 3.39 g., 8 h. Purchased from Roma Numismatics Ltd., E-Auction 96, 5 May 2022, Lot 893 (from "Vitangelo" Collection).**

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*On stylistic and other grounds, Mattingly argues for a somewhat later date, ca. 115-114 BCE. See See Harold B. Mattingly, “Roman Republican Coinage ca. 150-90 B.C.,” in From Coins to History (2004), pp. 199-226 at pp. 210-211.

 **See Sear RCV I at p. 106 regarding the five different types of Crawford 282, i.e., this type (Crawford 282/5) and Crawford 282/1-282/4: “This extraordinary issue, distinguished by flans with serrated edges, was minted at the newly-founded city of Narbo, the first Roman colony in Gaul. The two principal magistrates (Licinius Crassus and Domitius Ahenobarbus) produced their coins in association with five junior colleagues” – one subtype for each of them, in this case L. Porcius Licinius. For each subtype, the junior magistrate’s name appears on the obverse and the two principal magistrates’ names appear on the reverse. See also Crawford I p. 298.

 For identification of the three moneyers/magistrates named on this type, see Crawford I pp. 298-299:

 “The L. Licinius who is one of the two senior monetary magistrates was surely the L. Licinius Crassus responsible for the [founding of the] colony . . . . [and] was Cos. 95; Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus seems to have struck coinage as moneyer also (no. 285) and to have been Cos. 96. Their junior associates did not have distinguished careers - . . . . L. Porcius Licinus is presumably the grandson or great-grandson of L. Porcius Licinus, Cos. 184.” See also BMCRR I pp. 184-185 n. 1 (re the two senior magistrates); p. 185 n. 1 (re L. Porcius Licinus).

Regarding the scene on the reverse, Crawford states as follows at Vol. I p. 299: “The accoutrements of the figure in the biga forming the reverse type are purely Gallic (note the carnyx and the criss-cross pattern on the shield, similar to those on [Crawford] no. 281/1 [issued by  M Fovri L.f. Philus]. . . . The figure is clearly a Gaul . . . ; that the figure is the Gallic king Bituitus, captured by the father of Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus according to the probably mendacious account of Valerius Maximus . . . and Eutropius . . ., seems incapable of proof.” Contra BMCRR I pp. 184-185 n. 1: “The reverse type, which is common to the coins of all the moneyers of this issue, records the victory in Gaul of Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, the father of the [magistrate], over the Allobroges and their ally, Bituitus, king of the Arverni, who is represented in his chariot. Bituitus was shortly afterwards taken prisoner by C. Fabius Maximus, and figured in Rome in his own chariot of silver at the triumph of Fabius.” RSC I (3rd ed. 1978), although published post-Crawford, continues to follow this interpretation. See id. p. 18 (note to Aurelia 20).

Without addressing the specific identity of the Gallic warrior on the reverse of this issue, Yarrow places the scene in context; see Section 2.2.6 at pp. 106-108, 110:

“The Roman concern to honor both the gods and their ancestors for their military successes and the territorial hegemony those victories had granted to the populus Romanus required the development of a very specific visual language. The desire was not to communicate a general celebration of the divine or of militarism but rather to hold up as exempla specific deeds as proofs of Roman (and familial) exceptionalism. To this end, the Romans chose to appropriate symbols associated with the strength and prowess of their enemies and transform them into an iconography of Roman conquest: falcatas (Iberian-style swords), torques, elephants, camel cavalries, and Macedonian shields all fall into this category. Just as actual torques, carnyces (Gallic dragon-shaped war trumpets), shields, and falcatas were displayed in Rome as the spoils of war – dedicated in temples and hung on the houses of the generals as lasting testimony to the victories – so too the alien symbols on the coinage testify to the defeat of a specific formidable enemy. This desire for iconographic specificity was not, of course, particular to the Romans, and they borrowed heavily from Hellenistic precedents for their choice of symbols. What is unique is the breadth, nuance, and frequency of this symbolic repertoire. While use of these and similar symbols was not originally limited to the coinage, given how few other Republican monuments survive, coins remain our prime means of tracing this development. . . . [Continued below]

 

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Please post your barbarians, barbarian symbols, and barbarian captives, Roman Republican or otherwise.

 

Edited by DonnaML
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 RR denarius of Hostillius with Gallic warrior, obv. and reverse. Possibly Vercingetorix.

001801LG.jpg.cebb5ff6ad16607bf49112a724d37ef1.jpg

 

RR denarius - Memmius , with captive barbarian kneeling under trophy.

 

10542.jpg.ece412071c8635b96fd97c9e885bbe62.jpg

 

RR denarius of Aulus Licinius Nerva with reverse of one-armed Roman horseman dragging barbarian by hair...

 

REk8j2rX4LYds5aMPQ9boKJ7Gq6Mn3.jpg.ea829e831c43369f7d751340a6102de8.jpg

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image.png.ad58ee5d24ff0ac1c21c4ac14f6b08f0.png

L. Hostilius Saserna. AR Denarius, Rome Mint, ca. 48 B.C.
Bare head of female Gallic captive facing right, carnyx behind; Reverse: Diana of Ephesus standing facing, holding long spear, stag in left field. 3.4 gm 19 mm.

Great coins and a great informative post by @DonnaML as always.

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Iulius Caesar. Denarius Spain 46-45, AR 18mm., 3.68g. Diademed head of Venus r.; behind, Cupid. Rev. Two captives seated at sides of trophy with oval shield and carnyx in each hand; in exergue, CAESAR. Babelon Julia 11. C. 13. Sydenham 1014. Sear Imperators 58. RBW 1639. Crawford 468/1.

I would assume the captives would be Barbarians as I doubt that the Romans would define captives as anything as otherwise unless they were fighting themselves.

 

 

Edited by Dafydd
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Here are a few more Roman Republican coins depicting or relating to "barbarians," usually presumed to be Gallic during the Republican era. 

The first actually bears the Crawford number directly preceding the type I posted in the OP, and also depicts a pair of carnyces, among other Gallic accoutrements.

Roman Republic, M Fovri L.f. Philus, AR Denarius 119 BCE. Obv. Laureate head of Janus, M•FOVRI•L•F around / Rev. Roma with Corinthian helmet standing left holding scepter, crowning trophy surmounted by helmet and flanked by carnyx and shield on each side, Gallic arms around; star above, ROMA to right, PHLI in exergue.  RSC I Furia 18 (ill.), Crawford 281/1, Sydenham 529, Sear RCV I 156 (ill.), BMCRR Italy 555. 20.13 mm., 3.66 g. [According to Crawford (Vol. I p. 297), this reverse probably refers to "the defeat of the Allobroges and Arverni and the triumphs of 120."]

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This coin is from a couple of years later; I have only a photo of the reverse at the moment -- I keep meaning to photograph the obverse but haven't.

Roman Republic, M. Sergius Silus, AR Denarius, 116-115 BCE. Obv. Helmeted head of Roma right; EX S C before, ROMA and X with cross-bar (monogram for XVI [re-tariffed den. value of 16 copper asses]) behind / Rev. Horseman galloping left, holding sword and severed head of Gallic barbarian in left hand; Q below horse’s front legs and M SERGI/SILVS below. RSC I Sergia 1a (ill.), Crawford 286/1; Sydenham 544, Sear RCV I 163 (ill.), BMCRR Italy 512. 18 mm., 3.82 g. 

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Finally, I could just as easily have posted this coin -- showing combat between a Roman soldier and a barbarian -- to accompany the combat scene on the Servilius Vatia denarius I previously posted. But it fits here as well.

Roman Republic, Q. Thermus M.f., AR Denarius 103 BCE. Obv. Head of Mars left with crested, plumed helmet/ Rev. Roman soldier advancing right, fighting with uplifted sword a barbarian soldier before him, while protecting with shield a fallen comrade at his feet, Q THERM.MF. in exergue (THE and MF in monograms). RSC I Minucia [Q. Minucius Rufus] 19 (ill.), Crawford 319/1, Sear RCV I 198 (ill.), BMCRR Italy 653. 19.4 mm., 3.97 g.

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There are also, of course, many Roman Imperial coins depicting "barbarians," either being defeated in combat or in captivity, if one assumes that Romans thought of Parthians, Dacians, etc. as such. Please feel free to post them if you want; I didn't intend to limit my prompt to Republican coins. My own favorite is probably this severely undernourished captive Dacian on a denarius of Trajan:

Trajan AR Denarius, 106 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate bust right; IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TRP COS V P P / Rev. Captive Dacian in peaked cap with wide brim, seated right on shield in mournful attitude with left elbow on raised left knee, and face resting in left hand; below, curved Dacian sword (falx) right; SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI. RIC II 219 (http://numismatics.org/ocre/results?q=RIC+II+Trajan+219); RSC II 529; Sear RCV II 3168 (obv. var.); BMCRE 175 (https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/C_R-11584). 17 mm., 3.02 g., 6 h.

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On 6/1/2022 at 11:40 PM, Octavius said:

 RR denarius of Hostillius with Gallic warrior, obv. and reverse. Possibly Vercingetorix.

001801LG.jpg.cebb5ff6ad16607bf49112a724d37ef1.jpg

 

RR denarius - Memmius , with captive barbarian kneeling under trophy.

 

10542.jpg.ece412071c8635b96fd97c9e885bbe62.jpg

 

RR denarius of Aulus Licinius Nerva with reverse of one-armed Roman horseman dragging barbarian by hair...

 

REk8j2rX4LYds5aMPQ9boKJ7Gq6Mn3.jpg.ea829e831c43369f7d751340a6102de8.jpg

The Vercingetorix is a gem 🤩.

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Gat dang!!! How did I miss this thread???

It seems we have so many eager contributors in having a hard time keeping up...

I doubt if there is a more beeeeautiful example of that coin on earth! Huge coingrats @DonnaML

Here's mine and some other Gauls:

IMG_0890.PNG.3863c24f00b268d4e13f6cfbf0944c69.PNG021279_l-removebg-preview.png.332ebb4df06f162e71a0cfa36a2c6c82.pngIMG_2673(1).PNG.2b61270abacf116931ae467f9bfca888.PNG

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