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Mars Wearing Nothing but a Helmet and Cingulum Militare


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This denarius, struck under Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus (born 115 BC) is a new acquisition. Clodianus was a Republican moneyer and later Consul (72 BCE) and is best known for being one of the consular generals who led Roman legions against the slave armies of Spartacus in the Third Servile War. His coins are marked CN·LENTVL.
CnCorneliusLentulusClodianusdenarius.jpg.7390e7ff15f12457810fb9e2e97bb450.jpg

Cn Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus, 88 BCE.
Roman AR denarius, 3.51 g, 18.1 mm, 2 h.
Rome, 88 BCE.
Obv: Bust of Mars wearing Corinthian helmet, seen from behind, with head turned to right, spear over left shoulder and sword slung from baldric over right shoulder.
Rev: Victory in biga right, holding reins in left hand and wreath in right hand; in exergue,
CN·LENTVL.
Refs: Crawford RRC 345/1; RSC Cornelia 50; Sydenham CRR 702; Sear RCV 254.

I love the artistry of the depiction of Mars on this denarius! Mars is wearing nothing but his military equipment: his helmet, cingulum militare, and sword, and holding a spear. The cingulum militare was a belt, often with attached baldric, decorated with straps and metal fittings. It consisted of the following parts:

  • Balteus: Hanging band that was compounded for an overall band.
  • Bulla: Rivets on the baltea.
  • Pensilium: Pendant at the end of the straps of the belt.
  • Lamna: Discus at the end of each apron strip that embrace the pensilium.
  • Fibula: Buckle of the belt.

Cingulummilitare.JPG.a46869aa806706ad7c6c9699218f0281.JPG

Reconstruction of the singularum militare of a second century CE Roman soldier buried in Lugdunum. This particular soldier wore his baldric and sword over his left shoulder, but the baldric and sword were often worn over the right. Drawings from Roman Military Equipment by Bishop & Coulston, Edition 2, 2006, p. 160.
 

Cingulummilitaremodern.jpg.417e2d19364253fd0d8c9b83cf6573e2.jpg

Modern replica of the Roman cingulum militare worn by a reenactor during a show of Legio XV from Pram, Austria. Photo by Matthias Kabel. Used with permission.

We mortals, who are vulnerable to injury and sunburn, shudder at the notion of going to war naked. But the immortal god Mars had no such concerns and is frequently depicted nude on Roman coins.

TrajanPMTRPCOSVIPPSPQRMarsDenarius.jpg.7c2e57ebe9e19c4b3fdb267c2abc3788.jpg

Trajan, 98-117 CE.
Roman AR denarius; 2.95 gm, 20 mm.
Rome, 114-117 CE.
Obv: IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC, laureate and draped bust, right.
Rev: P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R, Mars walking right with spear and trophy.
Refs: RIC 337; BMCRE 536-40; Cohen 270; RCV --; Woytek 520v; Strack 230; BN 819.

Going off to war buck naked comes in handy, too! You can hop right out of bed after making love to Venus, grab your helmet, cingulum, and shield, and you’re ready to go!

FaustinaJrVENERIVICTRICISCVenusandMarsasMarti.jpg.61beece12431915ff7964dced78f3fdf.jpg

Faustina II, 147-175 CE.
Roman Æ as, 11.96 g, 25 mm, 6 h.
Rome, 170-175 CE.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: VENERI VICTRICI S C, Venus standing right, placing both hands on the arm of Mars, standing facing, head left, holding round shield in left hand.
Refs: RIC 1680; BMCRE 999-1001; Cohen 241; RCV 5305; MIR 42-7/10c.

Let’s see your coins of the Roman Republic depicting Mars! Post comments, coins, or anything you feel is relevant.

Edited by Roman Collector
Correction of obverse description; new photo
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9 minutes ago, Sulla80 said:

One of my favorite RR coins @Roman Collector

Cn_LentulusBlu.jpg.f1775050c8a1f8414a0879db87034385.jpg

https://www.sullacoins.com/post/lentulus-clodianus-defeated-by-spartacus

 

@Ryro - still hoping I stumble on one of those with spider control mark....

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Wow! That's a fantastic blog post, @Sulla80! I'm very glad you shared the link to it! Beautiful coins, too!

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Here is my favorite Mars RR

image.png.aea0f012dfcc929d0345a543c534e876.png

Ti. Veturius 137 BC. Rome Denarius AR 20 mm, 3,76 g

[TI·V͡E͡T], helmeted and draped bust of Mars right, behind X (mark of value) / ROMA, Oath-taking scene: youth kneeling left, head right, between two soldiers, each of whom holds a spear and sword that touches a pig held by the youth. Crawford 234/1; RBW 969; RSC Veturia 1.

 

And, believe it or not, my most expensive coin in my collection is also a Mars RR. But it features also Venus, some flying Cupids, stuff like this. 

image.png.4cdc2c1484a5b9a5a0202ceec829a023.png

L. JULIUS L. F. CAESAR. 103 BC. AR, Denarius. Rome. 15.8 mm, 3.51 g
CAESAR, helmeted head of Mars left, [S (retrograde) above] / [L IVLI L F], Venus driving biga of Cupids left, holding reins and sceptre; [lyre to left], S (retrograde) above.
RSC Julia 4a; Crawford 320/1; BMC 1406; Syd. 593a

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1 minute ago, ambr0zie said:

Here is my favorite Mars RR

image.png.aea0f012dfcc929d0345a543c534e876.png

Ti. Veturius 137 BC. Rome Denarius AR 20 mm, 3,76 g

[TI·V͡E͡T], helmeted and draped bust of Mars right, behind X (mark of value) / ROMA, Oath-taking scene: youth kneeling left, head right, between two soldiers, each of whom holds a spear and sword that touches a pig held by the youth. Crawford 234/1; RBW 969; RSC Veturia 1.

 

And, believe it or not, my most expensive coin in my collection is also a Mars RR. But it features also Venus, some flying Cupids, stuff like this. 

image.png.4cdc2c1484a5b9a5a0202ceec829a023.png

L. JULIUS L. F. CAESAR. 103 BC. AR, Denarius. Rome. 15.8 mm, 3.51 g
CAESAR, helmeted head of Mars left, [S (retrograde) above] / [L IVLI L F], Venus driving biga of Cupids left, holding reins and sceptre; [lyre to left], S (retrograde) above.
RSC Julia 4a; Crawford 320/1; BMC 1406; Syd. 593a

Lovely coins, with interesting reverse types!

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3 minutes ago, Marsyas Mike said:

Nice acquisition, @Roman Collector  Mine is on the "budget" end of the spectrum - I like how Mars is smiling on many of these (like that nice one posted by @Sulla80 above):

RR-CorneliadenFeb2017(0).jpg.cd22336485f3f4e90fcdcc82c7af93d8.jpg

 

I like the H- and crescent-shaped bankers' marks on yours, too, along with the smile!

Edited by Roman Collector
Grievous crimes against the apostrophe.
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This coin isn't from the Republican period but it has an excellent image of a battle ready Mars with helmet, spear & shield, & nude of course 😏.

534_1(3).jpg.1bb2e00532065a95b15327ea9ab3e969.jpg

Constantine I, AD 307-337 (struck AD 307/8). Trier Mint, 1st Officina. AE Nummus: 6.65 gm, 26 mm, 6 h. Struck from fresh dies. Ex Spink 169, July 15, 2004.

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5 minutes ago, Al Kowsky said:

This coin isn't from the Republican period but it has an excellent image of a battle ready Mars with helmet, spear & shield, & nude of course 😏.

534_1(3).jpg.1bb2e00532065a95b15327ea9ab3e969.jpg

Constantine I, AD 307-337 (struck AD 307/8). Trier Mint, 1st Officina. AE Nummus: 6.65 gm, 26 mm, 6 h. Struck from fresh dies. Ex Spink 169, July 15, 2004.

That's fantastic! I love that reverse design!

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