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Many of the Roman moneyers had a solid sense of humor and word play with homonyms was very popular. Pomponius Musa, playing on his name, issued ten types each depicting Hercules Musagetes (Conductor of the Muses) or one of nine different Muses, creating one of the most interesting and sought after series of the Republican coinage. This coin depicts Melpomene, the muse of Tragedy. RR89043. Silver denarius, RSC I Pomponia 14, Crawford 410/4, Sydenham 816, SRCV I 354, VF, attractive head of Apollo, light toning, light marks, off center, some encrustation, weight 3.453 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 66 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, scepter behind; reverse Melpomene, muse of tragedy, standing left, resting right hand on club, tragic mask in left, MVSA downward on left, Q POMPONI downward on right; ex Harlan J. Berk auction 156, lot 242; $340.00 (€299.20)
Roman Republic, Anonymous, 86 B.C.
This type is from a late, massive, and intriguing anonymous issue undoubtedly struck by the moneyer triumvirate of Gargonius, Ogulnius and Vergilius. Their signed coins (SRCV I 263 - 265) have identical types and are scarce or rare.RR91806. Silver denarius, Crawford 350a/2, Sydenham 723, RSC I 226, BMCRR I Rome 2622, RBW Collection 1333, SRCV I 266, VF, light golden toning, some die wear, light graffito obverse right field, weight 4.014 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 86 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, thunderbolt below neck truncation; reverse Jupiter in quadriga right, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, reins in left hand; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 31 (10 Mar 2019), lot 375; $170.00 (€149.60)
Roman Republic, L. Aemilius Lepidus Paullus, 62 B.C.
At the end of the Third Macedonian War (171 - 168 B.C.), King Perseus of Macedonia was decisively defeated by Rome at the Battle of Pydna. He surrendered to general Lucius Aemilius Paullus and was imprisoned in Rome with his half-brother Philippus and his son Alexander. The Antigonid kingdom was replaced with four republics, which were later dissolved and became the Roman province of Macedonia.RR92948. Silver denarius, RSC I Aemilia 10, Crawford 415/1, Sydenham 926, RBW Collection 1497, BMCRR I Rome 3373, SRCV I 366, Choice F, well centered, round punch on obverse, toned, light marks and scratches, weight 3.754 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 62 B.C.; obverse PAVLLVS LEPIDVS CONCORDIA, veiled and diademed head of Concordia right; reverse Paullus on right, standing left, togate, with right hand touching trophy of captured arms in center; on the left, three standing bound captives: King Perseus of Macedonia, his half-brother, and his son, TER above PAVLLVS in exergue; $140.00 (€123.20)
Roman Republic, Unofficial, c. 169 - 91 B.C.
Crawford notes, "The very common quadrantes with M • and N• (as Milan 351) are clearly unofficial."RR79715. Copper quadrans, cf. Milan 351 (from Crawford appendix p. 309 unofficial issues of bronze coins), Sydenham -, VF, centered on a tight flan, light marks,, weight 4.182 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 135o, unofficial mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, ROMA below, three pellets before, M• above; ex Forum (2006), ex Goodman collection; $125.00 (€110.00)
Roman Republic, C. Vibius C.f. Pansa, 90 B.C.
In 90 B.C. the Etruscans received Roman citizenship. RR89070. Silver denarius, RSC I Vibia 2, Crawford 342/5b, Sydenham 684, RBW Collection 1287, SRCV 242, aVF, light toning, high points not fully struck, weight 3.772 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 90 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, larger low relief head, hair in heavy scattered locks, PANSA behind, control symbol below chin; reverse Minerva in a quadriga right, trophy over shoulder in right, spear and reins in left, C•VIBIVS•C•F• in exergue; ex Frascatius Ancient Coins; $110.00 (€96.80)
Roman Republic, P. Plautius Hypsaeus, c. 60 B.C.
The Hypsaei claimed to trace their descent from Neptune and his daughter Leukonoe. This reverse type also appears to claim that the moneyer's ancestor captured Privernum in 329 B.C. We leave it to the reader to judge the validity of the first claim. As for the second, the victorious Consul at Privernum was C. Plautius Decianus, not C. Plautius Hypsaei. RR91018. Silver denarius, RSC I Plautia 11, Crawford 420/1, Sydenham 910, Russo RBW 1513, BMCRR I Rome 3841, SRCV I 375, aVF/F, rose toning, scratches, porosity, weight 3.421 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 60 B.C.; obverse P • YPSAE S C, head of Neptune right, trident behind; reverse Jupiter in quadriga left, CEPIT upward on right, C • YPSAE • COS / PRIV in exergue; from the Eric J. Engstrom Collection; $90.00 (€79.20)
Roman Republic, Anonymous (Unofficial?), c. 91 B.C.
Russo suspects this type may be unofficial because, despite the attractive style, the prow does not include the usual features found on most coins of the period.RR88352. Copper quadrans, RBW Collection 1244 (unofficial?), Crawford 339/4a, Sydenham 679c, BMCRR Rome 2208, SRCV I 1195, VF, porous, rough, edge splits, weight 2.114 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial(?) mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, apotropaic on side, ROMA above, three pellets below; $85.00 (€74.80)
Roman Republic, Anonymous, 86 B.C.
In 88 B.C., King Mithridates VI of Pontos took control of Roman Asia. Intending to severely and forever damage Roman-Hellenistic relations, he wrote to all the civic authorities of the province, ordering them to exterminate all Romans without regard to age or sex. The killings were to be carried out exactly one month after the date of his letter. Appian states that 80,000 Romans and Italians were murdered. Plutarch gives a much higher number. Rome immediately declared war. In 86 B.C., Lucius Cornelius Sulla captured Athens from the Pontic Kingdom army, and removed the tyrant Aristion. He also defeated Mithridates' greatest general, Archelaus, at the Battle of Chaeronea. In 85 B.C., Sulla would defeat Archelaus again in the decisive Battle of Orchomenus. Sulla allowed the defeated Mithridates to keep his own kingdom, in return for a huge indemnity and the loan of 70 ships to Sulla to return home to Rome.RR88353. Bronze semis, Crawford 350B/1, Sydenham 678A (scarce), BMCRR Rome 2205, RBW Collection 1342 (scarce), Hannover 2671, SRCV I 908, F, green patina, porous/rough, weight 6.546 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 86 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Saturn right, S (mark of value) behind; reverse prow right, S (mark of value) left, ROMA above; scarce; $80.00 (€70.40)
Roman Republic, Anonymous, 86 B.C.
Both sides of this coin are incuse. That might indicate it was overstruck, but more likely the flan was struck twice, and flipped, between strikes. This type is from a late, massive and intriguing anonymous issue undoubtedly struck by the moneyer triumvirate of Gargonius, Ogulnius and Vergilius. Their signed coins (SRCV I 263 - 265) have identical types and are scarce or rare.RR88391. Silver denarius, Crawford 350a/2, Sydenham 723, RSC I 226, BMCRR I Rome 2622, RBW Collection 1333, SRCV I 266, VF, flip strike, toned, scratches, weight 3.733 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 86 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, thunderbolt below neck truncation; reverse Jupiter in quadriga right, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, reins in left hand; ex Classical Numismatic Group; $80.00 (€70.40)
Roman Republic, Cn. Cornelius Lentulus, 88 B.C.
In 88 B.C., the Social War ended with the defeat of the Italian allies. Victory did not deliver peace. The First Roman Civil War began with a democratic uprising led by Gaius Marius. The democrats under the tribune P. Sulpicius Rufus were crushed by the conservatives under Sulla. Marius fled to Africa. RR89552. Silver denarius, Crawford 345/1, Sydenham 702, RSC I Cornelia 50, BMCRR I Rome 2440, Russo RBW 1312, SRCV I 254, F, well centered on a tight flan, toned, light marks, weight 3.691 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 88 B.C.; obverse bust of Mars right in a Corinthian helmet, viewed from behind with head turned right, holding spear over left shoulder and parazonium (a dagger) the strap of which is over his right shoulder; reverse Victory in a biga right, wreath in right hand, reins in left, CN·LENTVL in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics; $80.00 (€70.40)
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