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Mary Beard's new book: The Roman Triumph/ Triumphs on coins!


Ryro

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That's right, Mary's new book just dropped on audible a few days ago, and yes another great read/listen. It's a fun look at the Roman generals celebration of victory, better known as a Triumph!

As always, she's very well researched and entertaining. She makes sure to site sources and enjoys pointing out that what the sources say about triumphs are more to do with how they were held in their own time instead of that of whom they are writing. Much like Homer's explanation of warfare in the Iliad being less bronze age and more to his/their own time period. 

Best of all, she talks ancient coins!

Here's my oldest RR featuring a triumphal celebration, purchased for the artistry of the four uniquely facing horses, Mary had given me a fine excuse to show it off here:

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M. Vargunteius, Rome, 130 BC. AR Denarius (20mm, 3.64g). Helmeted head of Roma r. R/ Jupiter driving triumphal quadriga r., holding palm frond and thunderbolt. Crawford 257/1; RBW 1048; RSC Vargunteia 1. Near VF. Purchased from Bertolami Fine Art Feb 2023

 

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L. Sulla and L. Manlius Torquatus
82 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.8 g). Military mint traveling with Sulla. Helmeted head of Roma right / Sulla driving triumphal quadriga right; above, crowning Victory flying left. 
As consul for the year 88 BC, Sulla was awarded the coveted assignment of suppressing the revolt of Mithradates VI of Pontus, but political maneuvers resulted in this assignment being transferred to Marius. In response, Sulla turned his army on Rome itself and after snuffing it out resistance giving himself a Triumph.

One of Caesar's friends reminds us of his quadruple triumph!

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T. Carisius, 
Denarius. Rome, 46 BC. 3,54 g // 20 mmObv: Head of Roma r., wearing ornate crested helmet.Rev: Sceptre, cornucopia on Cosmos/globe, and rudder; all within laurel wreath. Crawford 464/3a; RBW 1615; RSC Carisia 4.VF. Purchased from Fitz Jan 2023

"The obverse of this denarius recalls the first coins of the Republic with the helmeted head of Rome. The reverse exalts Rome's dominance on land and sea and perhaps also recalls Caesar's quadruple triumph over his enemies. The scepter represents the land power of the armies, the rudder the sea power of the fleet. The cornucopia placed on the globe symbolizes universal happiness and prosperity. History: The monetary college of 46 BC includes three moneyers: Manius Cordus Rufus, Titus Carisius and Caius Considius Pوtus. Titus Carisius exalts Caesar's origins in his monetary iconography and participates in the celebration of Caesar's quadruple triumph that year. Vercingetorix, after having participated in the triumph of the imperator, is strangled at the Mamertine. The career of Titus Carisius is poorly known outside of his monetary triumvirate."

Mary discusses this coin toward the beginning of the book as she uses Pompey as her guide post for Triumphs:

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Faustus Cornelius L.f. L.n. Sulla
56 B.C.E. AR fourrée denarius (18.5 mm, 3.15 g, 7 h). Rome mint. Bust of Hercules right, in lions skin; SC behind / Globe between jeweled wreath and three triumphal wreaths. Cf. Crawford 426/4b; Cf. Sydenham 884; Cf. RSC Cornelia 62. aVF. Rare. 

"The head of Hercules recalls that Pompey while still young had, like his hero, extended his conquests over the world. The three lower wreaths refer to the three triumphal wreaths granted to Pompey for his victories in three continents. The jewelled wreath above is the gold chaplet he was authorized to wear at public functions (RSC, I, p.40)."

 

 

Please post any coins of triumphs!

Edited by Ryro
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Fascinating. Does she discuss the C. Fundanius denarius (see my post about it in my "Roman Republican Coin No. 82" thread, at https://www.numisforums.com/topic/2265-roman-republican-coin-81-l-farsuleius-mensor-crawford-3921b-and-82-crawford-3261-a-portrayal-of-marius/#comment-43069 ) that may or may not be intended to show Marius and his son in the triumph of 101 BCE?

 

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12 minutes ago, DonnaML said:

Fascinating. Does she discuss the C. Fundanius denarius (see my post about it in my "Roman Republican Coin No. 82" thread, at https://www.numisforums.com/topic/2265-roman-republican-coin-81-l-farsuleius-mensor-crawford-3921b-and-82-crawford-3261-a-portrayal-of-marius/#comment-43069 ) that may or may not be intended to show Marius and his son in the triumph of 101 BCE?

 

Not to my recollection. She talks about Sulla a bit, but her aim is to go over all we know from the sources about Triumphs and brings up numerous coins along the way, but not all. 

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Here are a couple of additional examples.

 

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M. Vargunteius AR Denarius. Rome, 130 BC. Helmeted head of Roma right; XVI monogram below chin, M#VARG behind / Jupiter driving triumphal quadriga right, holding palm frond and thunderbolt; ROMA in exergue. Crawford 257/1; RSC CRR 507.
Vargunteia 1. 3.77g, 20mm, 5h.

 

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T.CARISIUS DENARIUS .Crawford 464/3a; Carisia 4; Sydenham 984a.  20 mm 4.13 gms

 

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L. Sulla and L. Manlius Torquatus

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Here is my version of the Sulla Triumph type, one of my favorite coins:

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David Sear writes: "Another military issue of Sulla, this time probably belonging to the period of civil war in Italy in 82 BC. Once again gold aurei were included in the series (see no. 7). The coins also bear the name of one of Sulla's lieutenants who is described as proquaestor and was later consul (in 65 BC). -Roman Coins and Their Values, Millennium Edition, Vol. 1 (p. 126)

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10 minutes ago, David Atherton said:

I've had a copy of this book since at least 2010. Are you referring to a new edition?

Well now I just feel awkward. It just came out on Audible and they listed the release date as last week. So I assumed it was new in general. ☺️

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Sorry team. I guess it's not new. Just the audio version is. I'd still like to see triumphs too help hide my failure...

 

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