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Ancient Nomos Art is a museum of galleries exhibiting ancient coins and ancient mint maps. The coin gallery displays the diverse art and history of hand-crafted ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Medieval coinage. The ancient mints mapping gallery features Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Asia Minor and Medieval mint city regions and territories. Visitor's are welcome to explore, study and enjoy Ancient Nomos Art.

 

Roman Republic – 103 BC

Q. Thermus

From Ancient Galleries

Obverse: Bust of Mars facing left, wearing bronze helmet with crest and plumes.
Reverse: Two Soldier's in face to face battle stance fighting each other with swords.

LEGEND
Obv: Head of Mars facing left, wearing crested and plumed helmet. Rev: Q. THERM. M F below horizontal line in exergue. Two soldiers in face to face battle stance, fighting each other with swords, defending with shields; Roman soldier protects fallen comrade between them.

This exceptional Republican Roman denarius is especially noteworthy for being the first issue to detail the imagery of Rome’s military uniforms and equipment on a coin. The obverse depicts the military god Mars arching forward to the left as though moving forward. Mars is wearing the elite bronze Roman helmet modeled in the Italian-Corinthian style. The helmet features a center crest with feather plumes on each side and was worn primarily by Rome’s highest ranking officers and commanders. Coinciding with Mars is the reverse depiction of two warrior soldiers in face to face armed combat. The Roman soldier is on the left, seen holding his scutum shield with globe emblem, while wearing tactical single-breasted jacket and tunic. The enemy soldier is on the right also with shield and sword in hand. We are witness to the Roman soldier’s brave act of saving a fallen citizen’s life, demonstrating both honor and valiant courage in the battle scene. Below the combat is the official moneyer named Q. Thermus M.F. in exergue, who was known to serve as Legate on the consilium of Pompey Strabo at Asculum. Some suggest that the moneyer is perhaps honoring his grandfather Q. Minucius Thermus, who was consul and governor of Liguria from 193-190 BC, nearly a century earlier (Crawford 1974). Thermus senior is said to have been engaged in fierce battles with the Ligurians of the northern Appenines. He was said to have performed gallant military deeds, especially on the night his Roman camp was attacked, and managed to push the Ligures back with a military strategy of repeatedly sending in new soldiers to relieve the exhausted frontline soldiers (Livy36.38). Nevertheless, this coinage type is an issue designed to be seen as a tribute honoring the valor, bravery and dignity of all Roman soldiers defending the citizens and empire at large.

DOCUMENTATION
Value: Denarius. Metal: AR Silver. Weight: 3.82 grams. Mint: Rome. Date: circa 103 BC.
Attribution: Crawford 319/1; Sydenham 592; Minucia 19; Kestner 2597; BMCRR 653; NAC 6, 237.

Legend, Documentation and Attribution

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