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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 – 71 BC

Mn. Aquillius

From Ancient Galleries

Obverse: Helmeted and draped bust of Virtus facing right, wearing crested helmet.
Reverse: Roman warrior standing facing with head turned right, holding shield in left arm while raising fallen figure of Sicilia with right arm; with serrated border.

LEGEND
Obv: VIRTVS right, III VIR left. Draped female bust of Virtus facing right wearing crested helmet with side feathers. Rev: MN AQVIL MN F MN N. Aquillius standing facing holding shield with head turned right, raising kneeling figure of Sicilia; SICIL in exergue.

The early 1st century Roman Republic denarius is noteworthy for the legends and content echoing family history, individual experience and personal propaganda, marking a substantive move away from the Republics previous century depictions of the major god’s only (see Republic – 148 BC). The coin obverse above depicts the female god Virtus, a minor deity of courage, virtue and military strength, wearing her crested helmet with side feather plumes. The moneyor, Manius Aquillius 3rd, noted by the obverse legend III VIR, selected Virtus to be viewed in conjunction with the reverse context alluding to strength and virtue in the action scene saving Sicilia. The reverse depicts a Roman soldier in action, standing in a defensive posture holding a shield with head turned to guard watchfully, as his extended arm virtuously lifts the fallen Sicilia woman from the ground, note by exergue legend SICIL. The moneyor Aquillius, legend M-anius AQUIL-lius M-anii F-ilius M-anii N-epos, struck this coin in 71 BC to honor both military achievement and to commemorate his distinguished family history. His father, Manius Aquillius, was a Roman consul and successful military general during the 2nd Servile War. He is attributed with saving Sicily from the huge Sicilian slave uprising a generation earlier, only to be defeated at Protopachium and later killed by Mithridates in 88 BC. Another unique feature to this coin is the serrated or notched edges, common to Roman Republican issues struck during this era. The reason for “serratus” is unknown, but is thought to have enhanced visual authenticity by revealing a coins solid silver core. The observation of tiny silver folds overlapping this coins serratus edges indicates a wedge like tool was used to pre-cut the solid silver flans. This tedious minting effort is thought to have made forgery more difficult.

DOCUMENTATION
Value: Serrate Denarius. Metal: AR Silver. Weight: 3.94 grams. Mint: Rome. Date: circa 71 BC.
Attribution: Aquillia 2; Crawford 401; Sydenham 798; Kestner 3297; BMCRR 3364; NAC I, 641.

Legend, Documentation and Attribution

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