Jump to content

46 BC - The Longest Year


Sulla80

Recommended Posts

image.png.568a58baaa99f4aa11d7d6ac55bc9b75.png

The New Year is defined by our calendar....which fortunately, today, tracks pretty well to the seasons and the movement of the Earth around the Sun.  However, in 46 BC the Roman Republican calendar was pretty far off from the sun and seasons.  In order to get back on track : Julius Caesar had to add 90 days as 2 "intercalary months" to the year 46 BCE and 23 extra days in February – to realign – making the year 46 BC, 445 days long – the longest year.

"The confusion was such that Caius (Julius) Cæsar, sovereign-pontiff, resolved in his third consulate and that of M. Emilius Lepidus to destroy the effects of past abuses by placing between the months of November and December, two intercalary months of 67 days, although he had already intercalated 23 days in the month of February, which gave 445 days to that year; and at the same time to prevent the return of similar errors, he suppressed the intercalary month, and established the civil year after the course of the sun."
-Censorinus, (3rd century AD) De Die Natali XX

For more on this subject see: https://www.sullacoins.com/post/46-bc-the-longest-year

This coin issued in 46 BC:

TCarisiusMoneta.jpg.b9cd19e373e8353ca3959dd4dd2d8d72.jpg

T. Carisius, 46 BC, AR Denarius (18mm, 3.83g), Rome mint

Obv: Head of Juno Moneta right; MONETA to left

Rev: Implements for coining money: anvil die with garlanded punch die above, tongs and hammer on either side; all within laurel wreath.

Ref: Crawford 464/2; CRI 70; Sydenham 982b; Carisia 1b

The Temple to Juno Moneta (Juno "the Advisor" or "Warner") housed the Roman mint, as well as archives and standards. The word "moneta" became associated with the coins and is the root of our word "money". The site where it once stood, is today the site of the Basilica di Santa Maria in Aracoeli.

image.png.71d5b8a11eb1a7c6f67bf08d8cd128cf.png

Post your coins from "the longest year" (46 BC), coins of Juno Moneta - or anything else that you find interesting or entertaining.

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 2
  • Heart Eyes 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent example of a very desirable coin!

Here are my Carisius coins:

2880240_1653388023.l(1).jpg.44a7c13c007de2eaaf81401cefbcf685.jpg

T. Carisius

(46 BC) AR Denarius Obverse: Winged bust of Victoriy right with a jewel in the forehead and diadem of pearls. Reverse: T•CARISI Victory in quadriga right, holding reins in left hand and wreath in right hand.

Silver, diameter 18,7 x 19,1 mm, weight 3,97 g. Purchased from GNDM June 2022

Screenshot_20230102_123025-removebg-preview.png.0b0e5f71cb0c2b5c8395493473eec63e.png

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.

 

 

2450633_1640514442.l-removebg-preview(1).png.bcbdebbd9b3333bc47f98121b0ad1088.png

T. Carisius. 
Circa 46 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.34 gm). Head of Juno right / T. CARISIVS above minting implements, all within wreath: wreathed cap of Vulcan, resembling reverse die, above moneyer’s anvil between tongs and hammer. Crawford 464/2; Sear, CRI 70; Carisia 1a. NVF, Purchased from Savoca Jan 2022
 

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

An interesting year for sure.  The huge triumph celebrated by Caesar in 46 BC was the occasion for a lot of coins being issued, many of them wretchedly struck.  I have a couple: 

Carisius biga and quadriga:

RRCarisiusBigaQuad1617(0).jpg.806dd65fcd7d192f51a37a39472e52f4.jpg

Carisius moneyer's instruments - 

RR-CarisiusMoneyImplementsFeb2020c(0).jpg.3e746c62698bd153dc0c7462f1f09203.jpg

Mn. Cordius Rufus - Dioscuri & Venus:

RR-Cordia2aMn.CordiusRufusDioscuriVenusCraw463.1-MINE1990(0).jpg.a2010d26c80022f589bcf57d604667b7.jpg

RR-Cordia2aMn.CordiusRufusDioscuriVenusCraw463.1-MINENov2022(1).jpg.07aa5b49ef0291683d256133703c012d.jpg

Mn. Cordius Rufus - dolphin

image.jpeg.946e046ffd71c5d3f7fbb1b89ccc91ed.jpeg

 

 

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor
Posted (edited)

Very interesting! 

I have four coins issued in or about 46 BCE. For the first, see coin # 9 in my new thread for my top Roman Republican coins for 2023, posted about an hour ago at https://www.numisforums.com/topic/5657-donnamls-top-9-roman-republican-coins-for-2023/#comment-73977 :

Here are the other three, the third of which was issued by the same moneyer in the same year as the one in my new thread:

1. Roman Republic, Mn. Cordius Rufus, AR denarius, 46 BCE, Rome mint. Obv. Jugate heads of Dioscuri right, each wearing a laureate pileus surmounted by a star, RVFVS III VIR downwards behind and below / Rev. Venus Verticordia (or Venus Genetrix) standing facing, head left, holding scales in right hand and transverse scepter in left hand, Cupid hovering behind [Sear CRI, BMCRR] or perched upon [Crawford, RSC] her left shoulder, MN CORDIVS (MN ligatured) downwards to right. Crawford 463/1a, CRI 63 (ill. p. 45) [David Sear, The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49-27 BC (1998)], RSC I (Babelon) Cordia 2a (ill. p. 36), Sear RCV I 440 (ill. p. 156), BMCRR 4037, RBW Collection 1606 (ill. p. 339), Sydenham 976. Purchased from Jordan Scheckells (Louisiana, USA) Feb. 2022; ex. Diana Numismatica (Via Quattro Fontane, Roma). With old coin envelope (early 20th century).*

 

image.png.2b14dcb1aa7dfe58ddbcdccf858a37e2.png

*If the reverse figure is identified as Venus Verticordia (“‘turner of hearts’, i.e. the goddess who turns minds from lust to chastity,” see Jones, John Melville, A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (London 1990), entry for Venus, at p. 317), to whom a temple was specially dedicated in Rome in 114 BCE after the corruption and trial of the Vestal Virgins, the depiction “may not only be a punning allusion to the Cordia gens but may also refer to the family of Julius Caesar, which claimed its descent from Venus herself. The Cordia family came originally from Tusculum where there was a special cult of the Dioscuri.” See RSC I at p. 36 (quoting BMCRR I p. 523 n. 3 almost verbatim).

Crawford agrees that the moneyer was of Tusculan origin, citing a Tusculan inscription naming him, on which his tenure of the office of Praetor was recorded (Crawford I p. 474), and also agrees that the depiction of Venus on the reverse is a Caesarian reference (id.); the balance or scales she holds “perhaps suggests that the coinage of Mn. Cordius Rufus is in the tutela [guardianship] of Venus and is hence a further compliment to Caesar.” Id. However, Crawford’s position is that “there is no reason to regard Venus here as Verticordia.” Id. He proposes instead that “the type as a whole, with [her son] Cupid perched on the shoulder of Venus, may derive from the statue placed in the temple of Venus Genetrix [“foundress of the family,” from whom Caesar claimed descent] in 46 [BCE], the year of issue of this coinage.” Id. at 474-475.

At CRI p. 45, Sear – who, contrary to Crawford, identifies the reverse figure as Venus Verticordia, but without explanation – states regarding this type (and Crawford 463/1b, which has the same design except that the Dioscuri are decorated with fillets instead of laurel-b) that “[t]his denarius coinage in the name of Manius Cordius Rufus is on a scale [it isn’t clear whether this pun was intended!] commensurate with the state’s requirements at the time of Caesar’s quadruple triumph when, it will be remembered, five thousand denarii were paid to each legionary soldier and ten thousand to each centurion. Other than his coinage, Rufus is known only from an inscription found at Tusculum [citation omitted] recording that he held the office of praetor. The obverse type of this denarius also indicates his Tusculan origin as there was a special cult of Castor and Pollux at this ancient city of Latium situated about 15 miles south-east of Rome. The reverse type of Venus was doubtless intended to be complimentary to Caesar, and the head of the goddess appears on another of this moneyer’s denarius types” (citing Crawford 463/3, depicting Venus on the obverse and her son Cupid riding a dolphin on the reverse, a type essentially reproducing the very similar depiction on the reverse of Crawford 390/2, issued by L. Lucretius Trio ca. 76 BCE.)  

I question whether there is any substantive reason to identify the reverse figure as Venus Verticordia other than the fact that this identification fits the presumed pun on the moneyer’s gens. Regardless of whether or not the coin’s depiction of Venus is actually based on the lost statue of Venus Genetrix in the temple that Caesar dedicated to that goddess, it would seem the presence on Venus’s shoulder of her son Cupid (hardly a model for chastity!), the fact that Caesar specifically claimed descent from Venus Genetrix, and the fact that he dedicated a temple to her in 46 BCE, the very same year in which the coin was issued, would all  militate in favor of Crawford’s Venus Genetrix interpretation. (Even if that interpretation destroys the Verticordia/Cordius pun!) See Jones, supra at p. 317:

“It has been suggested that the figure of Venus, bearing scales and accompanied by Cupid, which appears on denarii of Mn. Cordius Rufus (46 BC) represents the cult statue of th[e] temple [of Venus Verticordia, built in 114 BCE], and that the type was chosen as a play on the name of the mint magistrate. . . . This is not impossible but it seems unlikely, and the coin and other coins of Cordus which show a head of Venus on the obverse, or a Cupid on the reverse, may only allude in a general way to Venus as the ancestress of the Julian family.” (Jones argues that it is “also unlikely” that the reverse figure specifically represented the statue of Venus Genetrix sculpted by Arcesilaus and placed in the temple to that goddess dedicated in the year of the coin’s issue, pointing out the many different numismatic representations of Venus Genetrix, and concluding that “there is enough variety to suggest that no particular work of art was automatically associated with this title.” Id.) [Remainder of footnote omitted.]

 

2. Roman Republic, T. Carisius, AR Denarius, 46 BCE, Rome mint. Obv. Head of Sibyl (or Sphinx) right, her hair elaborately decorated with jewels and enclosed in a sling, tied with bands / Rev. Human-headed Sphinx seated right with open wings, wearing cap, T•CARISIVS above,; in exergue, III•VIR. Crawford 464/1, RSC I Carisia 11 (ill.), Sear RCV I 446 (ill.), Sear Roman Imperators 69 (ill. p. 46), Sydenham 983a, BMCRR 4061. 19 mm., 3.87 g.*

 T.Carisiussphinxjpgversion.jpg.18d69c5ea6e75b5390bd83dc9520ceff.jpg

*The head on the obverse is described simply as a “Sibyl” in Crawford, “Sibyl Herophile” in Sear, and “Aphrodisian Sibyl” (i.e., Sibyl relating to Aphrodite/Venus) in RSC and BMCRR. The Sibyl Herophile was the name of a Sibyl at Erythae in Ionia opposite Chios, also associated with Samos. Crawford notes at p. 476 that the combination of a Sibyl on the obverse and a sphinx on the reverse “recall
those of Gergis in the Troad [citing BMC Troas, pp. xxx and 55], perhaps allud[ing] to Caesar’s Trojan origin,” the moneyer being a supporter of Caesar. See the examples of these coins of Gergis at https://www.wildwinds.com/coins/greece/troas/gergis/i.html and https://www.asiaminorcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=79 . On each such coin, the Sibyl is characterized as “Sibyl Herophile.” Characterizing her as the “Aphrodisian” Sibyl would relate to the gens Julia’s legendary descent from Venus. The theory that the obverse instead portrays the head of the Sphinx on the reverse is presented in an article by D. Woods, “Carisius, Acisculus, and the Riddle of the Sphinx,” American Journal of Numismatics Vol. 25 (2013).

The “IIIVIR” in the exergue on the reverse refers to the moneyer’s position at the mint. See https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=IIIVIR, defining the term as a “Latin abbreviation: Triumvir. On coins of the Roman Republic IIIVIR is used as a shortened abbreviation for IIIVIR AAAFF, which abbreviates ‘III viri aere argento auro flando feiundo’ or ‘Three men for the casting and striking of bronze, silver and gold,’ a moneyer or mint magistrate.”

3.  Roman Republic, Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio, 47/46 BCE, N. Africa, Utica (provincial capital 30 mi. NW of site of Carthage) or mobile military mint traveling with Scipio’s camp [see Sear Imperatorial (CRI), infra at p. 34]. Obv. Laureate head of Jupiter right, Q. METEL around to right, PIVS in exergue (PI ligate)/ Rev. African elephant walking right, SCIPIO above, IMP in exergue. Crawford 459/1, Sear Imperatorial (CRI) 45 (pp. 33-34) [David Sear, The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49-27 BC (1998)], RSC I Caecilia [Babelon] 47 (ill. p. 21), Sear RCV I 1379 (ill. p. 262), RBW Collection 1601 (ill. p. 337), BMCRR Africa 1, Claire Rowan, From Caesar to Augustus (c. 49 BC - AD 14), Using Coins as Sources (Cambridge 2019) at pp. 44-45 & Fig. 2.22. 19.5 mm., 3.78 g. Purchased from Germania Inferior Numismatics, Netherlands, Dec. 2021.*

 MetellusScipioelephantCrawford459.jpg.a6a4aff0e9413b157f030f2f2cd9ad1d.jpg

*Issued by Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio (ca. 95-46 BCE), a great-great-great-grandson of Scipio Africanus [see Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintus_Caecilius_Metellus_Pius_Scipio], and also a member of the Caecilii Metelli family by testamentary adoption [id.]. He issued this coin as the commander-in-chief of the remaining Pompeian forces in North Africa after Pompey’s defeat at Pharsalus and subsequent assassination, leading up to their defeat by Caesar at the Battle of Thapsus (in present-day Tunisia) on 6 Feb. 46 BCE. In CRI at p. 34, Sear states as follows about this coin: “Both stylistically and in volume this coinage stands apart from the rather limited issues in Scipio’s name which can safely be attributed to the provincial capital of Utica (nos. 40-43)/ The inescapable conclusion is that this type, which is in the sole name of the commander-in-chief, is a product of the military mint operating within the security of Scipio’s camp. It would appear to belong to the latter stages of the campaign as the Pompeian army was moving around the province prior to being enticed into the fatal engagement at Thapsus.”

See Metellus Scipio’s biography in Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, Vol. XVIII, pp. 258-259 (1911):

“QUINTUS CAECILIUS METELLUS PIUS SCIPIO, son of P. Scipio Nasia, was adopted by [Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius (d. ca. 64 BCE), issuer of Crawford 374/1 in 81 BCE, through the latter's will.]. He was accused of bribery in 60 B.C., and defended by Cicero, to whom he had rendered valuable assistance during the Catilinarian conspiracy. In August 52, he became consul through the influence of [his son-in-law] Pompey, who had married his daughter Cornelia [as his fifth wife. Pompey was Cornelia's second husband; her first, the son of Crassus, died at Carrhae.].  In 49 [Metellus Scipio] proposed that Caesar should disband his army within a definite time, under pain of being declared an enemy of the state. After the outbreak of the civil war, the province of Syria was assigned to him, and he was about to plunder the temple of Artemis at Ephesus when he was recalled by Pompey. He commanded the centre at Pharsalus, and afterwards went to Africa, where by Cato's influence he received the command. In 46 he was defeated at Thapsus; while endeavoring to escape to Spain he fell into the hands of P. Sittius, and put himself to death. His connexion with two great families gave him importance, but he was selfish and licentious, wanting in personal courage, and his violence drove many from his party.”

Clare Rowan discusses Metellus Scipio and his coinage, including this type, at length at pp. 42-46 of her book (see citation above):

“After the defeat at Pharsalus and Pompey's death in Egypt in 48 BC, opposition to Caesar continued in Africa under the command of Metellus Scipio, who had previously commanded forces in Syria. Along with other Pompeian commanders, Scipio was subjected to criticism by the Caesarian side -- in The Civil War Caesar attacked their legitimacy, noting that Scipio (and others) did not wait for the ratification of the appointments by the assembly and left Rome without taking the appropriate auspices, amongst other irregularities (Caes. BCiv. 1.6.6-7). Caesar wrote ‘all rights, divine and human, were thrown into confusion.’ Whether Caesar's accusations are true or not, we find a clear response to them on Scipio's coinage, which display an inordinate emphasis on Scipio's offices, and their legitimacy. . .  [Citing, among other things, obverse references to Jupiter as "underlining Scipio's divine support."]. . . .[Discussion of Scipio's other coins omitted.] Th[e] combination of familial history and contemporary politics can also be seen on Fig. 2.22 [illustration of Crawford 459/1, this type], which has a reverse decorated with an elephant accompanied by the legend SCIPIO IMP. Although one might be tempted to see this as a 'reply' to Caesar's elephant (Fig. 2.1, Crawford 443/1), there is little to support this hypothesis. The elephant had been a symbol of the Metelli since the victory of L. Caecilius Metellus over Hasdrubal at Panormus during the First Punic War in 250 BC, and elephants had previously appeared on the coinage of several moneyers from the family. [See Crawford 262/1, Crawford 263/1a-1b, Crawford 269/1, and Crawford 374/1] . . . . Indeed, Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius [Scipio's father by testamentary adoption] . . . released an issue displaying an elephant with the initials of his name in the exergue: Q.C.M.P.I. (the ‘I’ referring to his title as imperator).” [See Crawford 374/1]: [insert photo]

See also, e.g., Crawford Vol. I at p. 287, explaining the significance of depictions of elephants to the Caecilii Metelli family, recalling the victory of L. Caecilius Metellus, Cos. 251, over Hasdrubal at Panormus in 250 BCE, and the capture of Hasdrubal’s elephants.

Rowan continues at pp. 45-46:

 “Scipio may have been using an ancestral type in keeping with Republican tradition. Nonetheless, the elephant was a topical motif, particularly since Casear's own elephant issue [Crawford 443/1] was very large, and so others may have interpreted the image within the competing claims of the civil war (particularly if they didn't have an intimate knowledge of Roman elite family symbols). Since the issue was struck in Africa, the image might also have been interpreted as a reference to the elephants of King Juba I, who supported Scipio against Caesar (Dio 43.3.5-4.1). Juba himself released coins with an elephant on the reverse (Fig. 2.24), and so any users of Scipio's currency in Africa may have seen the elephant as a local symbol rather than (or in addition to) a reference to the Roman general.

Metellus Scipio had a strong client base in Africa, assuring him local support. Literary sources mention prophecies that a Scipio could not be defeated in the region (Suetonius, Julius Caesar 59; Plutarch, Life of Julius Caesar 52.2, Dio 42.57.5.)  Pro-Caesarian literature attempted to blacken Scipio by suggesting that the commander and his supporters were deferring to Juba, going so far as to suggest that Scipio had promised the province of Africa to the king [citations omitted]. It is clear that we cannot take this tradition at face value, but Scipio's coinage does reveal that he actively sought and/or commemorated local support.”

In CRI, at pp. 24-25, David Sear takes a highly negative view of Metellus Scipio:

"The guiding spirit in the anti-Caesarian movement [in Africa after Pharsalus] was Marcus Porcius Cato, later known as Cato Uticensis, the great-grandson of the famous Cato the Censor. . . . The universal respect which Cato commanded amongst his contemporaries enabled him to arbitrate in the rivalries and disputes which arose between the military leaders of the Pompeian party. Probably the general who came closest to matching Caesar's genius as a strategist was Titus Labenius, formerly Caesar's legate in Gaul though subsequently an ardent supporter of Pompey and his cause. But Labenius was a man of relatively low birth, his family having originated from the Picenium region of Italy, and this counted against him in the aristocratic hierarchy of the Pompeian leadership. Merely because of this brilliant tactician's lack of an illustrious ancestry Cato foolishly insisted on passing him over and bestowing the overall command on Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio. Although certainly the possessor of an awe-inspiring name, and formerly the father-in-law of Pompey himself, this did not, unfortunately for his cause, compensate for his total unfitness to confront an opponent of the calibre of Caesar.  [List of other leaders of the Pompeian army in Africa -- as well as its "powerful, though unstable, ally, King Juba of Numidia, who, "if he could be counted on, added greatly to the manpower ranged against Caesar and could even contribute a large contingent of war-elephants" -- is omitted, as is Sear's detailed discussion of the Battle of Thapsus itself.]  [After the defeat,] [o]f the Pompeian leaders only Sextus Pompey, Labienus, and Varus survived to join Gnaeus Pompey in Spain. Scipio fled by ship but was overtaken by enemy forces and took his own life rather than surrender and become Caesar's prisoner." [See pp. 26-27 for discussion of suicides of Juba and Cato.]

Edited by DonnaML
  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
  • Heart Eyes 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

C. Considius Paetus also issued coins in 46 B.C., probably for Caesar's triumphs - I believe this is the very first Roman Republican coin I ever got, way back in '88:


image.jpeg.da81ccab0c7ff798ea26f91cbad8802f.jpeg

Roman Republic      Denarius C. Considius Paetus (46 B.C.)  Rome Mint Laureate head of Apollo right / Curule chair with wreath, C•CONSIDIUS above, PAETI in exergue. Crawford 465/1b; Considia 3; Sydenham 990a. (4.01 grams / 16 mm) McDaniels  May 1988

 

 

  • Like 10
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

JCAESRRC467.png.3cb2c56308e73874a34e23226b5a83cf.png

Gaius Julius Caesar; Reign: Roman Republic, Civil War; Mint: Military mint, uncertain, Utica in North Africa or Sicily; Date: 46 BC; Nominal: Denarius; Material: Silver; Diameter: 19mm; Weight: 3.90g; Reference: Sydenham 1023; Reference: Babelon Julia 16; Reference: Crawford RRC 467/1a; Pedigree: Ex Niels Bro-Rasmussen Collection; Pedigree: Ex Geremia Bisceglia Collection; Obverse: Head of Ceres right, wreathed with corn ears; around inscription. Border of dots; Inscription: DICT ITER COS TERT; Translation: Dictator Iterum Consul Tertium; Translation: Dictator for the second time, Consul for the third time; Reverse: Emblems of the augurate and the pontificate: simpulum, aspergillum, jug and lituus; above and below, inscription; on right, letter D or M. Border of dots; Inscription: AVGVR PONT MAX D; Translation: Augurus Pontifex Maximus Donativum; Translation: Augur, Greatest Priest, Largesse issue.
 
CAESIIIRRC467.png.82724bb9beda5b5697c76b1940520ab5.png
Gaius Julius Caesar; Reign: Roman Republic, Civil War; Mint: Military mint, uncertain, Utica in North Africa or Sicily; Date: 46 BC; Nominal: Denarius; Material: Silver; Diameter: 19mm; Weight: 4.26g; Reference: Sydenham 1023; Reference: Babelon Julia 16; Reference: Crawford RRC 467/1b; Obverse: Head of Ceres right, wreathed with corn ears; around inscription. Border of dots; Inscription: DICT ITER COS TERT; Translation: Dictator Iterum Consul Tertium; Translation: Dictator for the second time, Consul for the third time; Reverse: Emblems of the augurate and the pontificate: simpulum, aspergillum, jug and lituus; above and below, inscription; on right, letter D or M. Border of dots; Inscription: AVGVR PONT MAX D; Translation: Augurus Pontifex Maximus Donativum; Translation: Augur, Greatest Priest, Largesse issue.
 
 
For this type, Crawford recorded an estimate of 123 right corners and 137 reverse corners for two varieties (M and D). The type with the M (like the denarius offered here) for munus seems less common than the one with the D for donativum. This type was certainly struck after Caesar's victory over Cato of Utica's Pompeians at Thapsus in 46 BC. On the right, the legend indicates that Caesar is Dictator for the second time. On the other hand, the head of Ceres is often used to symbolize Africa and the grain wealth of the Province. On the reverse, the D in the right field, "donativum" translates to largesse. There is another reverse which differs only by the presence of the letter M, "munus" which means present and indicates the rewards that Caesar paid after his victory in Africa. The reverse also reminds us that Caesar became Pontifex Maximus (Great Pontiff), head of the Roman religion, as early as 63 BC. This office makes its holder sacred like that of tribune of the plebs.
 
 
 
pompeius.png.e07ddde66f90491026c237f4b2b6259a.png
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus the Younger; Moneyer: Marcus Poblicius; Reign: Roman Republic, Civil War; Mint: Military mint, traveling Hispania with Pompeius; Date: ca. 46/45 BC; Nominal: Denarius; Material: Silver; Diameter: 19mm; Weight: 3.98g; Reference: Sydenham 1035; Reference: Babelon Pompeia 9; Reference: Crawford RRC 469/1a; Obverse: Head of Roma, right, wearing Corinthian helmet. Bead and reel border; Inscription: M POBLICI LEG PRO PR; Translation: Marcus Poblicius Legatus Pro Praetor; Translation: Marcus Poblicius, Legate Propraetor; Reverse: Hispania standing right, with shield slung on back, holding two spears in left hand and with right hand giving palm-branch to Pompeian soldier standing left on prow of galley. Border of dots; Inscription: CN MAGNVS IMP; Translation: Gnaeus Magnus Imperator; Translation: Emperor Gnaeus Magnus.
 
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus the Younger (born around 78 BC; died 45 BC) was a Roman politician and general. Gnaeus Pompeius was the eldest son of the general Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and his third wife Mucia Tertia. His younger brother was the later admiral Sextus Pompeius. Gnaeus and Sextus grew up in the shadow of their famous father, who had been consul three times due to his military successes without having completed the usual cursus honourum. While the influence of his former partner Gaius Iulius Caesar continued to grow over the course of the 50s, her father moved closer and closer to the traditional faction of the Roman nobility. When Caesar crossed the border to the Italian heartland, the Rubicon River, with his army in January 49 BC and thus made his readiness for civil war clear, Gnaeus accompanied his father with the two acting consuls and numerous senators on his retreat to the Balkan peninsula. The army led by Pompey was defeated in the Battle of Pharsalos, to which he had been urged by more militarily inexperienced senators, and Pompey himself was murdered in Egypt on 29 September while fleeing.
 
After the death of their father, Gnaeus and his brother Sextus continued the resistance against Caesar in the province of Africa. Together with Metellus Scipio, the younger Cato and other senators, they prepared for the battle against Caesar and his army. Caesar won the first battle at Thapsus in 46 BC against Metellus Scipio and Cato, who then committed suicide. Gnaeus fled again, this time to the Balearic Islands, where he met Sextus. Together with Titus Labienus, a former legate of Caesar who had switched sides at the beginning of the civil war, the brothers travelled to Hispania, where they formed a new army. Caesar and his legions followed them and met them at the Battle of Munda on 17 March 45 BC. Both armies were strong and led by capable generals. A cavalry charge probably brought Caesar victory. Titus Labienus and around 30,000 of his men died in the battle and while fleeing the battlefield. Gnaeus and Sextus Pompeius were initially able to escape again, but Gnaeus was captured within a few weeks and executed for treason in 45 BC. Sextus Pompeius, on the other hand, was able to evade his enemies and, after Caesar's assassination on the Ides of March in 44 BC, built up a considerable position of power as an admiral in the western Mediterranean. He was not defeated until 36 BC by Caesar's heir, the future Emperor Augustus, and was finally executed in Miletus in 35 BC. Gnaeus Pompeius was known for his cruelty.
 
 
 
CATORRC462.png.aab8bab61b99f56dda6ef1151111f511.png
 
Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis, issued by Mn. Cordius Rufus; Reign: Roman Republic, Civil War; Mint: Military mint in North Africa, probably Utica; Date: 47/46 BC; Nominal: Denarius; Material: Silver; Diameter: 19mm; Weight: 3.78g; Reference: Sydenham 1053; Reference: Babelon Porcia 10a; Reference: Crawford RRC 462/1b; Obverse: Female bust (possibly Roma), right, hair tied with band. Border of dots; Inscription: ROMA M CATO PRO PR; Translation: Roma Marcus Cato Pro Praetore; Translation: Roma, Marcus [Porcius] Cato, Army Commander; Reverse: Victory seated right, holding wreath in right hand and palm-branch in left hand, over left shoulder. Border of dots; Inscription: VICTRIX; Translation: Victrix; Translation: Victorious. 
 
Marcus Porcius Cato (called Cato the Younger to distinguish him from his great-grandfather of the same name, Latin Cato Minor, also Cato Uticensis after the place of his death; born 95 BC; died 12 April 46 BC in Utica in present-day Tunisia) was an influential conservative politician in the final days of the Roman Republic. As a senator, orator and commander of troops, he took part in the political and military conflicts that ended with the fall of the Republic. At first, Cato fought the ambitions of Caesar and Pompey, who also tried to gain a dominant position in the state, by political means. However, when Caesar rebelled militarily against the Senate in 49 BC and began the civil war, the Optimates of necessity allied themselves with Pompey, who as a proven general now became the mainstay of the Republic. After the defeat of Pompey, who defeated Caesar in the decisive battle of Pharsalos, Cato withdrew to North Africa with part of the remaining republican force. There he was instrumental in organising further resistance against Caesar, but refused to take over the supreme command. His position at the time was that of propraetor, i.e. army commander. Although he had always been against army commanders minting in their own name, he now did so too, but used the types of the mintmaster of 89 BC, Marcus Cato. On 6 April 46 BC, the Republican army was crushed in the battle of Thapsus. Shortly afterwards, Cato took his own life to avoid being captured and spared by Caesar, who had no right to decide Cato's fate. Cato was given the epithet Uticensis in memory of his moral greatness and heroic resistance against Caesar.
 
After his death, Cato became an idealised symbol of old republican virtues for opponents of monarchical power against the background of the alleged decadence and corruption of his era. He was widely admired as a model of ancient Roman incorruptibility and bravery. In the Roman imperial era, his admirers glorified him as a staunch defender of morality and law; oppositionists combined Cato's veneration with nostalgic memories of lost republican freedom. Philosophical circles held Cato in high esteem as a model of practised stoicism. In the early modern period, too, he was regarded as a hero of freedom and the embodiment of Roman virtue. The dramatic circumstances of his end of life served as material for playwrights and as a subject for visual artists.
 
  • Like 7
  • Mind blown 1
  • Heart Eyes 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a very attractive example of a desirable type, @Sulla80! Also, I didn't know that 46 BC was so much longer than regular calendar years – that's quite fascinating.

Here is my own Carisius denarius from that year:

RomischeRepublikRRC4643cTCarisiusDenar.png.642518bf838b17238733d7a05489a587.png

Roman Republic, moneyer: T. Carisius, AR denarius, 46 BC, Rome mint. Obv: ROMA; helmeted head of Roma r. (Attic helmet with plain crest). Rev: T·CARIS; cornucopiae on globe; on l., sceptre; on r., rudder. 18mm, 3.33g. Ref: RRC 464/3c.

 

 

Edited by Ursus
  • Like 7
  • Heart Eyes 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...