Benefactor DonnaML Posted May 26 · Benefactor Benefactor Share Posted May 26 (edited) This is only the fourth Roman Republican coin I've bought this year. I'm definitely slowing down, not because of any loss of interest but because it's getting more and more difficult to find interesting/unusual reverses I don't already have that aren't exorbitantly expensive. This one may not be in the best condition, but I'm happy with it anyway. Roman Republic, M. Servilius C.f. [son of C. Servilius Vatia], AR Denarius, 100 BCE, Rome Mint. Obv. Head of Roma right wearing winged helmet, earring, and necklace; control-symbol T [Tau in Greek alphabet*] behind / Rev. Two soldiers armed with swords fighting on foot (one on left with round shield and conical helmet, and one on right with oval shield and round helmet**), each with his horse behind him; in exergue, M•SERVEILI•C•F; below, control-symbol F [F in Latin alphabet*]. 19 mm., 3.9 g. Crawford 327/1; RSC [Babelon] I Servilia 13 (ill. p. 88); BMCRR I 1660; Sear RCV I 206; RBW Collection 1183 (ill. p. 245). Purchased from Aeternitas Numismatics, Madrid, Spain, 14 May 2023.*** *Crawford explains the control-symbols for this issue at Vol. I p. 329: “The control-marks are the letters of the Latin alphabet on the reverse and the letters of the Greek alphabet on the obverse, either rarely accompanied by a dot; the Latin letters start from the beginning of the alphabet, the Greek letters from the end; thus A is paired with Ω, B with Ψ, C with X and so on as far as X with ∆. Each pair of control-letters may have several pairs of dies.” Thus, on this coin, the “F” on the reverse (the sixth letter of the Latin alphabet) is paired with “T” on the obverse (Tau, the sixth letter from the end of the Greek alphabet). The Schaefer Roman Republican Die Project at CRRO shows four examples of Crawford 327/1 with the F-Tau combination (see http://numismatics.org/archives/ark:/53695/schaefer.rrdp.processed_300-399#schaefer_clippings_output_327_DEFGHIKLMNO_sd); only the first has an obverse die matching my specimen, labeled as die “T1”: And, out of the 132 examples of Crawford 327/1 listed on ACSearch, four have the F-Tau combination; none of those four has the “T1” obverse die matching mine. **Several sources describe the reverse scene not simply as two soldiers fighting, but as a Roman fighting a barbarian. However, I have seen none purporting to identify which is which. ***According to Crawford -- see Vol. I p. 329 and the stemma (family tree) for the Servilia gens at id. p. 270 -- the moneyer for Crawford 327/1, M. Servilius C.f., was the brother of a P. Servilius C.f. M.n. Vatia Isauricus (Cos. 79), and, more significantly for numismatic purposes, a son of C. Servilius Vatia, moneyer ca. 127 BC and issuer of Crawford 264/1, which also has a battle scene on the reverse. My example: Crawford explains (Vol. I p. 289, see also id. p. 329) that both types “probably refer to the propensity for single combat of the moneyer[s’] ancestor, M. Servilius Pulex Geminus, Cos. 202 [citations to Livy and Plutarch omitted].” As RSC I elaborates at p. 88, based on a footnote in BMCRR I (p. 179 n. 2), “The horseman represented [on Crawford 264/1 ] is M. Servilius Pulex Geminus, who was elected Augur in B.C. 211 and who filled that office for about 40 years and who was consul in B.C. 202. He is said to have received wounds in twenty-three single combats and to have been victorious in all.” Crawford 327/1 also “commemorates the heroic deeds of M. Servilius Pulex Geminus” (id.) – the grandfather of C. Servilius Vatia (the moneyer for Crawford 264/1), and great-grandfather of M. Servilius C.f. (the moneyer for Crawford 327/1), according to the stemma at Crawford I p. 270. See also Yarrow pp. 100-101 (ill. Fig. 2.52) [Liv Mariah Yarrow, The Roman Republic to 49 BCE: Using Coins as Sources (2021)], for further details regarding the career of Pulex Geminus, including an excerpt from Livy’s rendition of his famous speech in 167 B.C regarding the wounds he suffered in his 23 victorious single combats. Please post any coins you have, Roman Republican or otherwise, depicting scenes of combat. And, if anyone is willing to speculate on whether the reverse scene on my new coin really does show a Roman vs. a barbarian -- and, if so, which is which -- I'd love to hear your thoughts. Edited May 26 by DonnaML 19 1 5 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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