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image.png.da27bd9ef09fd8ddcd6bd5b170e53006.png

Codex Vaticanus Latinus 3868, a 9th-century illuminated manuscript of the Latin comedies of Publius Terentius Afer. Public Domain Image via Wikipedia.

This denarius was issued near the end of the Third Punic War in 147 BC by a moneyer who may have been the master of Terence, the playwright, or perhaps his son.  A Gaius Terentius Lucanus is also mentioned by Pliny as the one who popularized gladiatorial art.

1776878019_TerrentiusLucanius.thumb.jpg.ff71eb2448353a00ed0cf859b0588748.jpg

C. Terentius Lucanus, 147 BC, AR Denarius, (18mm, 3.74 g, 8h), Rome mint

Obv: Helmeted head of Roma right; behind, Victory standing right, holding wreath, above X (mark of value, below victory a bit hard to see on this coin), border of dots

Rev: C.TER LVC, Dioscuri riding right, each holding a spear, ROMA below, line border

Ref: Crawford 217/1; Sydenham 425; Terentia 10

A full write-up in my notes at http://www.sullacoins.com/

Post your 2nd century Roman republican denarii featuring the dioscuri, coins connected to Greek and Roman theater or anything else you find interesting or entertaining.

Edited by Sulla80
correcting formatting
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End of 3rd Punic War - but with a happier thought...

SILVER PUPPY-DAWG

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Roman Republic
AR Denarius
C Antestius
Rome 146 BCE
3.97g 19.0mm
Helm Roma R X C ANTESTI -
Dioscuri galloping R puppy-dog running ROMA
Craw 219-1e

 

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33 minutes ago, Sulla80 said:

Post your 2nd century Roman republican denarii featuring the dioscuri ...

Here you go, @Sulla80!

[IMG]
L. Cupiennius, 147 BC.
Roman Republican AR denarius, 3.89 g, 17.7 mm, 3 h.
Rome, 147 BC.
Obv: Helmeted head of Roma, right; cornucopiae behind; denominational mark X before.
Rev: Dioscuri galloping right; L·CVP (VP ligatured) below; ROMA in exergue.
Refs: Crawford (RRC) 218/1; RSC Cupiennia 1; Sydenham (CRR) 404; RCV 94.

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2nd Century BC Roman Republican Dioscuri:

Roman Republic, L. Memmius, AR Denarius, Rome Mint, 109-108 BCE. Obv. Male head to right (Apollo?), wearing oak wreath, star (*) [= monogrammed XVI; mark of value] beneath chin / Rev. The Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), cloaked, with stars above their heads, standing facing between their horses, each holding a spear and the bridle of his horse, with each horse raising its outside front hoof; L•MEMMI in exergue. Crawford 304/1, RSC I Memmia 1 (ill. p. 65), Sear RCV I 181 (ill. p. 107), BMCRR II Italy 643, RBW Collection 1145 (ill. p. 237). 19 mm., 3.95 g. Purchased Jan. 6, 2022 at Roma Numismatics E-Sale 93, Lot 897. Ex. Andrew McCabe Collection; ex. Numismatica Ars Classica AG, Auction 7, 27 May 2014, Lot 1944; ex. Aureo & Calico, Auction 159, 3 March 2004, Lot 1056.*

Memmius denarius (Apollo-Diocsuri with horses) (Roma 1.6.21).jpg


*Crawford says little about this issue, stating only (see Crawford I p. 315) that the moneyer “may be identified with L. Memmius, who visited Egypt as a Senator in 112,” that the obverse type “remains unexplained” (but resembles the head of Apollo on Crawford 350A, including in wearing an oak-wreath rather than a laurel wreath), and that the representation of the Dioscuri -- dismounted and standing next to their horses rather than mounted and galloping in the same direction with couched lances, their traditional portrayal on Roman Republican coins, especially during the 2nd Century BCE – is “unusual.” For detailed discussions of the Dioscuri in mythology, in their role as protectors of the Roman people as a result of their miraculous intervention on the Roman side at the battle of Lake Regillus, and as frequently depicted on Roman Republican coins (albeit rarely on Roman Imperial coins), see, e.g., https://www.ostia-antica.org/dict/topics/mint/mint04.htm#:~:text=The Dioscuri were known to,against the Latins in c; https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Dioscuri:


“[T]he worship of the Dioscuri, as divinities, had its origin at Rome, from the victory which the consul Postumius gained, near the lake Regillus, over the Latins and the sons of Tarquinius Superbus (B.C. 493 or 496). It was said that, after that engagement, the Dioscuri appeared in the forum of Rome, wearing conical bonnets, over each of which was a star. They stood resting upon their lances, beside their horses, which were drinking at a fountain. These twin heroes disappeared as soon as they had announced the news of the battle, at a moment when, on account of the distance from the scene of the slaughter, no one could have as yet become acquainted with the event. It is also related that, during the action, two young men, mounted on two white horses, were seen fighting valiantly for the Romans. . . .

The Dioscuri most frequently appear, on coins of the Roman Republic, as horsemen galloping, with couched lances, and stars above their pilei. . . . In the imperial series, this type (which was meant to denote brotherly concord), is of rare occurrence.”

It has been suggested that the portrayal of the Dioscuri on the reverse of this coin may be based on an ancient statuary group similar to the pair of statues unearthed in 1561, located at the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome since 1583:

castor-and-pollux-piazza-del-campidoglio-rome_orig.jpg

See https://www.walksinrome.com/uploads...d-pollux-piazza-del-campidoglio-rome_orig.jpg. It's rather clear that the Heavenly Twins originally held spears or lances. And, if taken together, the pair of statues certainly resembles the reverse of the L. Memmius denarius:

Screenshot 2022-02-03 172106  Castor & Pollux.png

Roman Republic, C. Antestius, AR Denarius 146 BCE. Obv. Head of Roma right wearing winged helmet with peaked visor (ornamented with griffin’s head?), pearl necklace, and earring of pellets in form of bunch of grapes, C • ANTESTI upwards behind [partially off flan, ANTE ligate], X [mark of value, 10 asses]* beneath chin / Rev. Dioscuri holding spears, on horseback galloping right; puppy running right below horses’ hooves, with both forefeet raised; in exergue, ROMA; minor flan flaws on reverse. Crawford 219/1e, RSC I Antestia 1, BMCRR I 859, Sear RCV I 95/1 (ill.), Sydenham 411. 19 mm.. 3.76 g., 3 h. Ex. CNG Auction 378, July 13, 2016, Lot 408; ex. RBW [Richard B. Witschonke] Collection; ex. BCD Collection [see old coin ticket], purchased by RBW from BCD March 1985; ex. ASW [Alan S. Walker, currently Dir. of Nomos AG].

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*My only denarius issued before the re-tariffing of that denomination to 16 asses circa 141 BCE. [2nd footnote omitted.]

Second, a coin showing the Dioscuri galloping in opposite directions rather than in tandem:

Roman Republic, C. Servilius M.f., AR Denarius 136 BCE. Obv. Head of Roma right wearing winged helmet, wreath behind neck, ROMA beneath with * [XVI monogram] to left / Rev. Dioscuri on horseback galloping in opposite directions, heads turned back to face each other, both twins holding their spears downwards behind horses, C. SERVEILI M F in exergue. RSC I Servilia 1, Crawford 239/1, Sydenham 525, Sear RCV I 116 (ill.), BMCRR Italy 540. 19.35 mm., 3.89 g. [Sear says that this is the first Republican denarius with “ROMA” legend on obverse, and the second to use the monogram * for XVI .]

[IMG]

Third, the Janiform faces of the Dioscuri:

Roman Republic, C. Fonteius, AR Denarius, 114-113 BCE. Obv. Laureate, Janiform head of the Dioscuri, control mark N under left chin [mark of value * (= 16) under right chin is worn off], one dot beneath head / Rev. Galley left with three rowers, gubernator (pilot) at stern, rudder beneath stern, apotropaic eye on side, three-pronged ram with wolf’s head above extending from prow, banners/streamers extending from stern, C • FONT above (N and T in monogram), ROMA below. Crawford 290/1, RSC I Fonteia 1 (ill.), Sear RCV I 167 (ill.), Sydenham 555. 20 mm., 3.90 g. Ex: Auctiones GmbH, eAuction 67, Lot 55, 15 March 2020; Ex: CNG Auction May 2012, Lot 293; Ex: Bruce R. Brace Collection.*

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* According to H.A. Seaby in RSC I (at p. 48), the Janiform head on the obverse relates to the origins of the Fonteia gens -- which claimed as its founder Fons or Fontus, supposedly the son of Janus -- and the galley on the reverse relates to the naval exploits of the moneyer’s ancestor P. Fonteius Capito, who was praetor in Sardinia in 169 BCE. Crawford disagrees. (See Vol. I at p. 305.) He states that there is no good evidence for the existence of Fontus, and that the Janiform head should instead be regarded as that of the Dioscuri, because the gens Fonteia came from Tusculum, the chief cult-center of the Dioscuri in Latium. Crawford also states that the reverse is “doubtless” an allusion to the transmarine origin of Telegonus (the son of Ulysses and Circe), who was the legendary founder of Tusculum. Sear agrees with Crawford.

 

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And here's some Roman entertainment, involving two horses but only one rider:

Roman Republic, C. Marcius Censorinus, AR Denarius, Rome 88 BCE. Obv. Jugate diademed heads, right, of kings Numa Pompilius, bearded [legendary second king of Rome], and Ancus Marcius, beardless [his grandson, the legendary fourth king of Rome], no control-mark / Rev. Desultor on horseback galloping right, wearing pileus [conical cap], with second horse at his side, holding whip with right hand and holding reins for both horses with left hand; in exergue, C•CENSO; no control-mark. Crawford 346/1i [no control-marks], RSC I Marcia 18a [no control marks], BMCR 2367 [no control-marks], see also id. 2368-2393 [various control-marks], Sydenham 713, Sear RCV I 256 [illustration has control-mark]. 17 mm., 3.72 g. [Purchased from Munthandel G. Henzen, Netherlands, Feb. 2021; ex. Dutch private collection.]*

C. Marcius Censorinus - desultor on horseback on reverse - jpg version.jpg

*The moneyer, as was traditional for the gens Marcia, belonged to the populares faction, and was “one of the leading men of the Marian party; he was the accuser of Sulla for malversation upon his return from Asia in BC 91. He entered Rome with Marius and Cinna in BC 87, and took a leading part in the massacres which ensued.” BMCRR p. 301 n. 1. In 87, as a military tribune or prefect for Marius, he famously commanded the cavalry that attacked and killed the consul Gnaeius Octavius, and then brought his head to Marius’s ally Cinna (who then controlled Rome) before nailing it to the Rostra -- according to the historian Appian, the first time the head of a consul was displayed on the Rostra, but unfortunately not the last. Censorinus died in 82 BCE in the course of the final struggle against Sulla, when he was taken prisoner in the defeat at the Battle of the Colline Gate and was put to death. See id.; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcius_Censorinus; Crawford p. 361.

The obverse design “records the descent of the gens Marcia from Ancus Marcius [citing Plutarch, Suetonius, and Ovid] and hence also from his grandfather Numa Pompilius, a piece of genealogical fiction.” Crawford p. 361; accord BMCRR p. 301 n. 2. The reverse types on all of the denarii issued by this moneyer “commemorate the foundation of the Ludi Apollinares, which were instituted in BC 212 in virtue of a prophecy of the soothsayer Marcius.” Id; accord Crawford p. 361. This particular type “represents the race in which a rider (desultor) was provided with two horses, from one to the other of which he sprang during the race.” BMCRR p. 301 n. 2. See also Jones, John Melville, A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (Seaby, London, 1990), entry for “Desultor,” at p. 94, defining the term as follows:

“One who leaps down or dismounts, the name given to a competitor in games at Rome who, in a manner not now clearly understood, took part in a horse race using more than one horse. It may be assumed that he had to change horses at least once during the race. In a collection of myths by the Roman writer Hyginus the statement occurs that a desultor wore a pileus because his actions symbolized the alternate immortality of Castor and Pollux [i.e., as he switched from one horse to the other]. This may be true but when a rider with two horses appears on Republican coins, the type should be regarded as agonistic rather than religious.”

At p. 361, Crawford describes 9 different subtypes of this issue, differing in whether and where control-letters, numerals, symbols, and “fractional signs” appear, i.e., on the obverse and/or the reverse. This type, with no control-mark of any kind on either side of the coin -- and it seems unlikely that any such mark would have worn off completely but left all the other major features of the design, including the whip in the rider’s hand, still clearly visible -- is the ninth subtype, denominated Crawford 345/1i. Taking all subtypes together, there are a total of 102 obverse dies and 113 reverse dies. Id. Thus, the number of dies with no control-marks is quite scarce when compared to the total number of dies with one or more control-marks of any kind, but is no more scarce, when compared on a one-to-one basis, than the number of dies with any given individual control mark or marks.

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Posted · Supporter

Fun thread @Sulla80 and that con is a beauty. I really like the Victory crowning Roma, but the detail on your Dioscuri is wonderful!

A few additions from my collection.

The twins that weren't:

IMG_0638(1).PNG.065d9d7672044334e2aba61b0aab497e.PNGIMG_0305(1).PNG.6af4d50211dc777cac1aa886178a0a62.PNGIMG_3914(1)(1).JPG.c025619d6a2b065ac1c0b79ced6d4dca.JPG

And for the thespians 😘 out there, the mask of Silenos:

IMG_0241.PNG.851f791cd9163028e35ba0ca78a1f16a.PNG2136570_1630246216.l-removebg-preview.png.79468aa2981b3dea316f87d8a0b9e627.png

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2 hours ago, Sulla80 said:

Post your 2nd century Roman republican denarii featuring the dioscuri,

 

53e627d0c7c44acab09749f94e13ab7a.jpg

M. Atilius Saranus, Denarius - Rome mint, 148 BC
Helmeted head of Rome right, SARAN downwards behind, X below chin
Dioscurs riding right, M.ATILI in field, ROMA at exergue
3.66 gr
Ref : RCV # 92, RSC, Atilia # 8v.

Q

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And a much (very much) later version of @DonnaML exquisite denarius

1 hour ago, DonnaML said:

Roman Republic, L. Memmius, AR Denarius, Rome Mint, 109-108 BCE. Obv. Male head to right (Apollo?), wearing oak wreath, star (*) [= monogrammed XVI; mark of value] beneath chin / Rev. The Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), cloaked, with stars above their heads, standing facing between their horses, each holding a spear and the bridle of his horse, with each horse raising its outside front hoof; L•MEMMI in exergue. Crawford 304/1, RSC I Memmia 1 (ill. p. 65), Sear RCV I 181 (ill. p. 107), BMCRR II Italy 643, RBW Collection 1145 (ill. p. 237). 19 mm., 3.95 g. Purchased Jan. 6, 2022 at Roma Numismatics E-Sale 93, Lot 897. Ex. Andrew McCabe Collection; ex. Numismatica Ars Classica AG, Auction 7, 27 May 2014, Lot 1944; ex. Aureo & Calico, Auction 159, 3 March 2004, Lot 1056.*

Memmius denarius (Apollo-Diocsuri with horses) (Roma 1.6.21).jpg

 

5d81507f73014acd878ed6b3d23e918c.jpg

Maxentius, Follis - Ostia mint, 3rd officina AD 309
IMP C MAXENTIVS PF AVG, Laureate head of Maxentius right
AET ERNITAS AVGN, Dioscuri facing each other, holding their horse by bridle. Between them she wolf suckling Remus and Romulus. MOSTΓ at exergue
7.43 gr
Ref : Cohen # 10, RCV # 14976 (100), RIC VI # 16

Q

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....Terrence this is stupid stuff, you eat your victuals fast enough.... 😄 (of course that's heading to Mithridates :P)   @Alegandron, along with others, had much influence with me getting my example 🙂

 

Antestius, denarius, c136BC, 18mm,3.82gms Obverse Roma bust right, with Dogo behind. Reverse: riding Dioscuri Twins above moneyers name and ROMA in exergue

IMG_6477.JPG

IMG_6474.JPG

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, ominus1 said:

....Terrence this is stupid stuff, you eat your victuals fast enough.... 😄 (of course that's heading to Mithridates :P)   @Alegandron, along with others, had much influence with me getting my example 🙂

 

Antestius, denarius, c136BC, 18mm,3.82gms Obverse Roma bust right, with Dogo behind. Reverse: riding Dioscuri Twins above moneyers name and ROMA in exergue

IMG_6477.JPG

IMG_6474.JPG

DAWGGGY !!!

😄 

Edited by Alegandron
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2 hours ago, jdmKY said:

Not 2nd century, but on topic2790C435-BA44-4D17-97C0-378DBC4FBF41.thumb.jpeg.4d318527bb9f839f1e672950dc91a35c.jpeg07A89E75-0483-46FD-8095-A8D27823B446.thumb.jpeg.1c7cf8950c76f3210ac0fdc4cc99ce14.jpeg4BC7C82D-0356-4EAB-9A54-D990686A05EE.thumb.jpeg.ac1ff5c88002c4863cc2c89c5984cde2.jpeg1EE7732F-BB2C-4131-8CEA-08AA08C4F353.thumb.jpeg.5ee84d718774e5c41000ee24155e64ef.jpeg4F791A2E-B39F-4A3D-914A-F9DF9767D3C2.thumb.jpeg.7b7fe50a16e94a7a1c3156d26811e21d.jpegE32E7246-9E7B-41C3-BC19-6B33F6C09B78.thumb.jpeg.0b494a2518a6369abcbe84a43c6c281e.jpeg

@jdmKY, I used to own the first denarius in your post: it's a great coin with just a small amount of flatness on the portrait. Glad it found its way to a good home!

Here's my current example of the type:

Regulus.thumb.jpg.e95ed5af939f12c9ed728ec9cfb548c6.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Wow - amazing to see the coins that quickly appear in a forum that didn't exist a week or two ago - lots of nice Roman republican denarii and great looking Maxentius from Ostia.

34617407_MaxentiusOstia.thumb.jpg.f7703fd713436f7880be9a66db1d6ccd.jpg

No shortage of items for the RR wish list: L. Livineius Regulus (Crawford 494/30) as shown by @AncientJoe and @jdmKY

L. Servius Rufus....

Edited by Sulla80
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