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Sulla Denarius - Post your important late Res Publica Denarii


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I just acquired an integral piece for my late Republic collection. A denarius of L. Cornelius Sulla Felix struck from a military mint in 82 BC. 

L. Sulla; L. Malnius Torquatus; 82 BC, Military Mint Moving with Sulla; Crawford 367/5

I found this example to check all my boxes for this type. Excellent state of preservation, quality style, good centering on the reverse, fully legible L. SVLLA, and victory fully on the flan. I look forward to the toning that this piece will acquire!

Post your Sulla or late Republic coins!

 

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Coingrats! A must have type for collectors of the late republic.  Here's mine and than a recently purchased traveling military mint coin of his:

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L. Cornelius Sulla . Denarius, mint moving with Sulla 84-83, AR 18mm, 3.36 g. Diademed head of Venus r.; in r. field, Cupid standing l., holding palm branch; below, L·SVLLA. Rev. IMPER Jug and lituus between two trophies; below, ITERVM. Babelon Cornelia 29. Sydenham 761. RBW 1364. Crawford 359/2. Obverse scratches. Purchased from Savoca May 2024
Scarce. No known portraits can be certainly attributed to L. Cornelius Sulla. This coin without a portrait was minted during his lifetime when he marched on Rome to take control over the Roman republic

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Latest Republic coin I have,

The Roman Republic
L. Procilius. Denarius, AR 3.48 g. Rome 80BCE.
Laureate head of Jupiter r.; behind, S•C. Rev. L•PROCILI / F Juno Sospita standing r., holding shield and hurling spear; at her feet, snake. Babelon Procilia 1. Sydenham 771. RBW 1406. Crawford 379/1.

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Posted (edited)

I wonder if anyone else can post one of these? Everyone knows about Sulla's denarii but he struck some very rare bronzes as well. This one is not in great condition but there are only 3 on ACSearch so I took what I could get when offered one(thankfully misattributed and very cheap)

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Roman Republic Æ As(13.86g), Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Imperator, 82 BC, military mint moving with Sulla. Laureate head of bearded Janus; I above/Prow of galley right; L•SVL above; IMPE below. Crawford 368/1

Edited by red_spork
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Posted (edited)

What an excellent example for a first post @Caesar_was_not_a_tyrant and welcome to Numis Forums.

Here are some of my Sulla related denarii  that need photographing but the main purpose of my post is to highlight Lynda Telford's book "Sulla - a dictator reconsidered" which followed on from Arthur Keaveney's earlier work "Sulla the last Republican". I enjoyed both but felt Telford's book had a slight edge. If anyone wants a copy I have a spare I would gladly send as I don't need two copies. My wife bought me the second copy because a puppy chewed the dustcover and a bit of the front board and she felt somewhat guilty as she had put it within reach whilst tidying up. The contents are fine and I can photocopy a dust cover. First member that sends me a pm me has it.

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Edited by Dafydd
typo
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Roman Republic, L. Sulla & L. Manlius Torquatus, 82 BC Silver Denarius, Military Mint Moving with Sulla, 17mm, 4.01 grams Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma right. Reverse: Sulla holding branch and reings driving triumphal quadriga right, Victory flying above crowning him with laurels. Crawford 367/5 // Manlia 4

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13 hours ago, Ryro said:

Coingrats! A must have type for collectors of the late republic.  Here's mine and than a recently purchased traveling military mint coin of his:

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L. Cornelius Sulla . Denarius, mint moving with Sulla 84-83, AR 18mm, 3.36 g. Diademed head of Venus r.; in r. field, Cupid standing l., holding palm branch; below, L·SVLLA. Rev. IMPER Jug and lituus between two trophies; below, ITERVM. Babelon Cornelia 29. Sydenham 761. RBW 1364. Crawford 359/2. Obverse scratches. Purchased from Savoca May 2024
Scarce. No known portraits can be certainly attributed to L. Cornelius Sulla. This coin without a portrait was minted during his lifetime when he marched on Rome to take control over the Roman republic

Coingrats on your new acquisition! Two lovely examples of significant historical importance. The Cr-359/2 is such fascinating type historically and stylistically. I believe it is the first time we see an issue of coinage from a personal military mint without authorization of the senate, making it an extremely important type. It is nakedly self-promotional, referring to Sulla's own personal achievements rather than the more typical iconography honoring the moneyer's ancestors. Of course moneyers were almost always young men in the dawn of their career without personal achievements of their own. It also shows Venus who Sulla would claim as his own patron goddess. This was another precedent that would be followed by later imperators like Caesar (who would also chose Venus). 

The trophies depicted on the reverse are of great interest too. The Greek and Roman Trophy: From Battlefield Marker to Icon of Power by Lauren Kinnee is an in-depth work tracing the history of the trophy from its origins on the Greek archaic battlefield to the Roman adoption as a tool of empire building. Kinnee examines how the trophy on Roman coinage was always depicted as an attribute of a god or hero until the quinarii honoring Marius' victories over the Teutones and Cimbri in 101 BC and 98 BC, minted by C. Fundanius and T. Cloulius respectively. This type Cr-359/2 is the first coin after those two quinarii to use a trophy as a symbol of political propaganda for an active imperator, and the first time a trophy was depicted for self-promotion by the imperator minting the coin. This type certainly set the precedent that lead to the trophy's common depiction on later coins minted by the imperators of the Caesarian Civil War. 

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The trophies are everything, they probably refer to his 2 victories over Archaelos, Mithradates Vl Eupator' s top general in central Greece which lead immediately to the treaty of Dardanus that let Mithradates "off the hook" cos Felix wanted to get back to Italy. He had by this time frightened to death the slayer of Rome's official choice of war leader, Flaccus, Fimbria!

The other good thing about Sulla is that he didn't execute Caesar when he had the chance!

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Q. Pompeius Rufus, 54 BC. AR Denarius (17mm, 3.63g, 5h). Rome mint. Obv: Bare head of the consul Q. Pompeius Rufus right. Rev: Bare head of Sulla right. Ref: Crawford 434/1; Sydenham 908; Pompeia 4; RBW 1544. Lightly toned with a hint of iridescence, a few light marks. Good Very Fine. Excellent portrait of Sulla. From the Wild Rose Collection. Ex John L. Cowan Collection (CNG 114, 13 May 2020), Lot 616.; Gemini II (10 Jan 2006), Lot 265. Ex CNG 126 (28 May 2024), Lot 603. CNG Note: This coin issue bears the only portrait of the dictator Sulla. The moneyer was the grandson of Sulla and his home would likely have had portraits of their famous ancestor. Thus, although posthumously struck, the portrait on these coins is probably an accurate representation.

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And just FYI wrt coin prices, this example hammered for the opening bid and sold for about 30% less than in the two previous auctions.

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Here is my example of the  Q Antonius Balbus denarius.         

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Laur. head of Jupiter right , SC behind.

Appears to be the principal coinage of the faction opposed to the return of Sulla to Rome. Balbus strikes as praetor by special decree of the Senate.

Victory in quadriga right holding wreath and palm. Control letter M below.
18 mm 3.88 gm 
Ex Navilles 2014.

 

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Commemorating an important military victory

ROMAN REPUBLIC Gens Furia
Commemorative issue: Victories over Allobroges and Arverni
AR denarius 20.5mm, 3.01g. Rome 119 BCE
Obverse: Head of bearded Janus; moneyer mark counterclockwise, starting at 6H.
Dotted boarder. Lettering: M•FOVRI•L•F
Reverse: Roma at right, standing left, a star above, wearing Corinthian helmet, holding transversal sceptre in left hand and crowning trophy with right hand; trophy surmounted by a helmet in the form of a boar's head and flanked by a carnyx and shield on each side.
ROMA in right field, counterclockwise.
PHILI in exergue (for M. Furius Philus)
The gens Furia, originally Fusia, was one of the most ancient and noble patrician houses at Rome. Its members held the highest offices of the State during the period of the Roman Republic. The first of the Furii to attain the consulship was Sextus Furius Medullinus in 488 BC.

This coin commemorates the victories achieved in 121 BC by Consuls Domitius Ahenobarbus and Q.Fabius Maximus over the Allobroges and the Averni in Gaul.
The Roman Conquest of Southern Gaul, 125–121 BC
The Romans’ expansion in southern Gaul was intended to help its ally Massilia and open a land route to Roman possessions in Spain. In 121 bc the Allobroges were defeated at Vindalium, and a Gallic confederation was routed on the banks of the Isara. They were then taken under direct Roman control. Unlike the Arverni, who,  after the defeat, negotiated a treaty allowing them independence although with their territory severely diminished.
    RCV I# 156, RSC# 18, RRC# 281/1, CRR# 529

 

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