Steppenfool Posted December 7, 2022 · Member Share Posted December 7, 2022 (edited) Every single coin in my collection is a Roman Imperial between the years of 70AD and 363AD. For the first time I have stepped out of this boundary, and even beyond the category of "Roman Imperial". This type has fascinated me for some time due to its historicity, but derives a piquancy from other aspects too! I paid £51 for this coin on an eBay auction (aulusplautius) and was surprised at the lack of competition I faced. I'd recently lost out on a lower quality example at the recent Naville auction, so I was keen to seize this opportunity. The date of 48 BCE should be enough to raise the interest of anyone concerned with history. This coin was minted in the same year that the Battle of Pharsalus occurred, the battle that proved decisive for a Caesarian victory in the Civil War. Caius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus was the the moneyer for this issue and was a supporter of Caesar during this time. He was able to secure the rank of aedile or praetor this year through his friendship with Caesar that had arisen due to serving under Caesar in the Gallic campaigns. Pansa would prosper in the coming years and was designated for consul by Caesar in 44 BCE (for the year upcoming year 43 BCE) . Despite his support of Caesar which was reciprocated, it appears that Pansa was a Republican at heart. After Caesar's assassination in 44 BCE, he opposed the increasingly tyrannic behaviour of Marcus Antoninus as Consul, despite still supporting Caesarian legislation politically. Spearheaded by Pansa and his fellow Consul Hirtius, the decision was made by the senate to legitimise Octavian's new army and take the fight to Antoninus who was besieging Decimus Brutus and his troops in Cisalpine Gaul.. Again a man of realistic compromise, Pansa prevented Antony being designated an Enemy of the State and appeared to be doing his best to avoid total chaos. In the ensuing conflict Pansa's forces suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Forum Gallorum, and Pansa himself received serious wounds in the fighting. The second stage of the battle between the Senatorial forces and Antony resulted in a victory for the former at Mutina. As Pansa was dying, he received news of this success and the death of his consular colleague. The deaths of the consuls left Octavian in charge of the senatorial forces and allowed him to act more freely and with more power in the ensuing political manoeuvring. As a result, Octavian was rumoured to have been involved in the death of Pansa. Allegedly, in his final hours, Pansa told Octavian not to trust Cicero or the Senate. A realistic and pragmatic remark from a man who lived his life in like fashion. The reverse depicts an interesting deity, Jupiter Anxurvs, the youthful protector of the town of Anxur. Perhaps related to the gens Vibia or Pansa's biological origin? Another reason I like the coin is that it is quite funny. It is thought that the mask of Pan obverse is simply a reference to PANsa's cognomen. Pansa's (adopted) father was a moneyer in 90 BCE and had made the same joke back then! These masks could be used as decorative items, worn in plays, or for religious purposes. I also had to research what exactly C.f and C.n mean. Turns out the coin communicates his ancestry and according to ForumAncientCoins, F and N are patronymics, F, filius, for "son of" N, nepos for "grandson of." Since Pansa's father shared his first name Caius, C.f means son of Caius. I couldn't find out his grandfather's name, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was Caius also. All in all, this is a beautiful coin that traverses the time period between the Republic and the Principate. It was minted under a key player who was involved in the machinations of the most famous Romans. It is an interesting design, combining religion, culture, humour, a specific locality and a family in-joke that whose provenance goes back 50 years! Post times you ventured out of your collecting niche and provide an explanation if you wish! Furthermore, if anyone has anything to add about my coin, it will be most welcomed! This is also my first attempt at taking my own pictures with a rubbish camera phone. I'll borrow my partner's iPhone for the next batch I think! C. Vibius C. f. C. n. Pansa Caetronianus AR Denarius. Rome, 48 BC. Mask of bearded Pan to right; PANSA below / Jupiter Axurus (or Anxurus) seated to left, holding patera and sceptre; C•VIBIVS•C•F•C•N IOVIS•AXVR around. Crawford 449/1a; BMCRR Rome 3978; RSC Vibia 18. 3.56g Edited December 7, 2022 by Steppenfool 20 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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