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my first Roma head denarius


Nerosmyfavorite68

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A first in 30 years of collecting; a Roma head denarius.  I had avoided these for years, thinking them to be boring.  Changes in my collecting tastes caused me to lift the ban.

L.Pomponiuscn.f.L.LiciniusandCnDomitius(118BC)-ARSerrateDenarius-3.85g20mm.)NarboCraw282-4.jpg.ccdd4f7cbd4864b37e01461911f4aaa3.jpg

L. Pomponius Cn. f., L. Licinius and Cn. Domitius 118 BC. AR Serrate Denarius (3.85 gm, 20mm). Narbo mint. Obv.: L· POMPONI· CNF, head of Roma right, wearing winged Attic helmet; 'X' (Mark of value) behind. Rev.: Gallic warrior (Bituitus) standing right, holding shield, carnyx, and reins in biga galloping right; L· LIC· CN DOM in exergue. Crawford 282/4; Sydenham 522 (dealer description).  My grade: F+/F

Silver Ants which I've bought from Tom Vossen (he's become one of my go-to dealers) tend to be blast white. This one is relatively toned. The picture is pretty true to the toning pattern on this one; a wee bit splotchy but one can't have everything.  It's not a bad budget piece.

I don't have the moneyer's name at hand, though I really like the c. 130 BC issue with the elaborate border. 

 

 

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A nice first Roma obverse. I got my first one a few weeks ago.

AR denarius (3,87 g. 17 mm.). Rome, 138 B.C. C Renius
Head of Roma right, wearing winged helmet and 5 drop earring; behind, X designating value/
C•RENI below, ROMA in exergue, Juno Caprotina, holding crook, reins and scepter, driving biga of goats right.
Crawford 231/1; Sydenham 432; Renia 1.

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A great choice for your first Roma obverse, and a nice specimen. Republican coins with Roma on the obverse can admittedly be boring, but it all depends on the reverse, and this reverse is fascinating, I think.  Here's my example of the same type, although it's a different subtype (Crawford 282/5 rather than 282/4). See the explanation in the footnotes.

Roman Republic, L. Porcius Licinius, L. Licinius Crassus and Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, AR Serrate Denarius, Narbo Mint [Narbo Martius colony (Narbonne), Province of Gaul], 118 BCE [year of Narbo’s founding].* Obv. Head of Roma right wearing winged helmet, necklace, and drop earring, with hair in two curling locks extending down from helmet; L•PORCI upwards in front; LICI downwards behind followed by mark of value * [= XVI asses] behind neck / Rev. Naked, bearded Gallic warrior [possibly Bituitus, king of Arverni; see 2nd fn.] driving galloping biga right, holding shield with criss-cross pattern, dragon-head carnyx, and reins in left hand, and hurling spear with right hand; in exergue, L•LIC•CN•DOM. Crawford 282/5; BMCRR I Rome 1187; RSC I Porcia 8 (ill. p. 81) [this type is also RSC I Licinia 15 and Domitia 19]; Sear RCV I 158; see also Yarrow p. 110 & Fig. 2.68 at p. 113 [Liv Mariah Yarrow, The Roman Republic to 49 BCE: Using Coins as Sources (2021)]; RBW Collection 1110 (ill. p. 229); Foss p. 2 (The Republic No. 2a) [Clive Foss, Roman Historical Coins (Seaby, London, 1990)].  20 mm., 3.39 g., 8 h. Purchased from Roma Numismatics Ltd., E-Auction 96, 5 May 2022, Lot 893 (from “Vitangelo” Collection).**

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*On stylistic and other grounds, Mattingly argues for a somewhat later date, ca. 115-114 BCE. See See Harold B. Mattingly, “Roman Republican Coinage ca. 150-90 B.C.,” in From Coins to History (2004), pp. 199-226 at pp. 210-211.

**See Sear RCV I at p. 106 regarding the five different types of Crawford 282, i.e., this type (Crawford 282/5) and Crawford 282/1-282/4: “This extraordinary issue, distinguished by flans with serrated edges, was minted at the newly-founded city of Narbo, the first Roman colony in Gaul. The two principal magistrates (Licinius Crassus and Domitius Ahenobarbus) produced their coins in association with five junior colleagues” – one subtype for each of them, in this case L. Porcius Licinius. For each subtype, the junior magistrate’s name appears on the obverse and the two principal magistrates’ names appear on the reverse. See also Crawford I p. 298. 

For identification of the three moneyers/magistrates named on this type, see Crawford I pp. 298-299:

“The L. Licinius who is one of the two senior monetary magistrates was surely the L. Licinius Crassus responsible for the [founding of the] colony . . . . [and] was Cos. 95; Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus seems to have struck coinage as moneyer also (no. 285) and to have been Cos. 96. Their junior associates did not have distinguished careers - . . . . L. Porcius Licinus is presumably the grandson or great-grandson of L. Porcius Licinus, Cos. 184.” See also BMCRR I pp. 184-185 n. 1 (re the two senior magistrates); p. 185 n. 1 (re L. Porcius Licinus).

Regarding the scene on the reverse, Crawford states as follows at Vol. I p. 299: “The accoutrements of the figure in the biga forming the reverse type are purely Gallic (note the carnyx and the criss-cross pattern on the shield, similar to those on [Crawford] no. 281/1[issued by  M Fovri L.f. Philus]. . . . The figure is clearly a Gaul . . . ; that the figure is the Gallic king Bituitus, captured by the father of Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus according to the probably mendacious account of Valerius Maximus . . . and Eutropius . . ., seems incapable of proof.” Contra BMCRR I pp. 184-185 n. 1: “The reverse type, which is common to the coins of all the moneyers of this issue, records the victory in Gaul of Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, the father of the [magistrate], over the Allobroges and their ally, Bituitus, king of the Arverni, who is represented in his chariot. Bituitus was shortly afterwards taken prisoner by C. Fabius Maximus, and figured in Rome in his own chariot of silver at the triumph of Fabius.” RSC I (3rd ed. 1978), although published post-Crawford, continues to follow this interpretation. See id. p. 18 (note to Aurelia 20).

Without addressing the specific identity of the Gallic warrior on the reverse of this issue, Yarrow places the scene in context; see Section 2.2.6 at pp. 106-108, 110:

“The Roman concern to honor both the gods and their ancestors for their military successes and the territorial hegemony those victories had granted to the populus Romanus required the development of a very specific visual language. The desire was not to communicate a general celebration of the divine or of militarism but rather to hold up as exempla specific deeds as proofs of Roman (and familial) exceptionalism. To this end, the Romans chose to appropriate symbols associated with the strength and prowess of their enemies and transform them into an iconography of Roman conquest: falcatas (Iberian-style swords), torques, elephants, camel cavalries, and Macedonian shields all fall into this category. Just as actual torques, carnyces (Gallic dragon-shaped war trumpets), shields, and falcatas were displayed in Rome as the spoils of war – dedicated in temples and hung on the houses of the generals as lasting testimony to the victories – so too the alien symbols on the coinage testify to the defeat of a specific formidable enemy. This desire for iconographic specificity was not, of course, particular to the Romans, and they borrowed heavily from Hellenistic precedents for their choice of symbols. What is unique is the breadth, nuance, and frequency of this symbolic repertoire. While use of these and similar symbols was not originally limited to the coinage, given how few other Republican monuments survive, coins remain our prime means of tracing this development. . . .

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Great coins and comments.

Here is a Roma obverse I bought and then loved the iridescent toning. My original rationale was I liked the prancing horses!

image.png.54febc926171c5c689a120049c3a8785.png

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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.  Ex-Roma.

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very good begin, this pomponius was my first also beginning the seventy's. So go on , beginning with these Crawford 1 to 5

gens Aurelia, Cr 282,1

image.png.8ca6e7197e8f8c71f4ce72da6130937d.png

gens Cosconia, Cr 282/2

image.png.a0644c550810cacc87954b96ba9a61f1.png

 

Gens Pobicia, Cr 283/3

image.png.105a62da72c061675cef617f7237c2bb.pngimage.png.d58619de532a0334f93d5422bd8311ce.png

 

 

Gens Pomponia, CR 282/4

image.png.bcc43a55d995c4387e8eb66205589fda.pngimage.png.0841482f3e51ea7276e0e248f76d83f0.png

 

Gens Porcia, Cr 282/5

image.png.3bf0170c8c57a010b6331b6aa60b4896.png

 

 

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I actually find the helmeted Roma obverse denarii to be attractive. There are lots of varieties, and they are quintessentially Roman in design.

 

anonymous C. 211 BCE

320D.jpg.6a424b3e797f484f6e49cd656f3e751d.jpg

 

Servilia

160220.jpg.3102f113e229ddca0b841421866087f4.jpg

 

Marcus Baebius Tampilius c. 120 BCE

baebia-m-baebius-tampilus-denier.jpg.a387eca94a6e772061c3dbc8b4963a83.jpg

 

Anonymous / Dioscurri

Dw4sgRa8Q6Qz73eNo5EjWyT3F9qYkZ.jpg.0106139ed580527a9c9a7ba95da222c7.jpg

 

Junius with ass head on obverse...

Wfs2jB6J8gGSoeZ34CxbZi5TA7CpyB.jpg.4ae18159b8a7c07e1beb999055ba0256.jpg

 

Lucius Sempronius Pitio...

Yj6mq9fR5L2gynP84rLQnpE3g5dJeb.jpg.e56929d8b5f8b6ccc812b20a8a72d409.jpg

Edited by Octavius
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I especially like the kind of crested Roma helmet that makes it obvious that it's supposed to represent a griffin's head and wing, as opposed to being merely suggestive of the resemblance like several of the examples posted by @Octavius, @antwerpen2306, and @Dafydd:

image.png.ffcf9114b4af17987a21f23637c1a4b8.png

C. Caecilius Metellus Caprarius, AR Denarius 125 BCE, Crawford 269/1 (posted yesterday in the "post it and pick it" thread).

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On 12/15/2023 at 2:56 PM, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

A first in 30 years of collecting; a Roma head denarius.  I had avoided these for years, thinking them to be boring.  Changes in my collecting tastes caused me to lift the ban.

L.Pomponiuscn.f.L.LiciniusandCnDomitius(118BC)-ARSerrateDenarius-3.85g20mm.)NarboCraw282-4.jpg.ccdd4f7cbd4864b37e01461911f4aaa3.jpg

L. Pomponius Cn. f., L. Licinius and Cn. Domitius 118 BC. AR Serrate Denarius (3.85 gm, 20mm). Narbo mint. Obv.: L· POMPONI· CNF, head of Roma right, wearing winged Attic helmet; 'X' (Mark of value) behind. Rev.: Gallic warrior (Bituitus) standing right, holding shield, carnyx, and reins in biga galloping right; L· LIC· CN DOM in exergue. Crawford 282/4; Sydenham 522 (dealer description).  My grade: F+/F

Silver Ants which I've bought from Tom Vossen (he's become one of my go-to dealers) tend to be blast white. This one is relatively toned. The picture is pretty true to the toning pattern on this one; a wee bit splotchy but one can't have everything.  It's not a bad budget piece.

I don't have the moneyer's name at hand, though I really like the c. 130 BC issue with the elaborate border. 

 

 

image.png.b1464bb14b699dc141f7c01bd47643e2.png

Here's my example.

471917072_LPomponiusCNFdenariusGallicwarriorinbiga.jpg.4a05b33f1ec277076150a9d88cc166b0.jpg
L. Licinius Crassus and Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus with L Pomponius, 118 BCE.
Roman AR denarius serratus, 3.91 g, 19.6 mm, 1 h.
Narbo, 118 BCE.
Obv: L POMPONI CNF, head of Roma, right, wearing Attic helmet; X behind.
Rev: Naked Gaulish warrior in biga, right, holding shield, carnyx and reins in left hand and hurling spear with right hand; L·LIC·CN·DOM in exergue.
Refs: Crawford RRC 282/4; BMCRR 1191-93; Sydenham CRR 522a; RSC Pomponia 7a; RCV 158.

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