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Coin Detail
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ID:     77000590
Type:     Greek
City:     Marsic Confederation
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Denarius
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC 90-88
Weight:     4.01 g
Die Axis:     2 h
Obverse Legend:     RVTaRBmE • lˆTViii
Obverse Description:     Head of Italia left, wearing helmet, ornamented with crescents, annulets, and plume at side
Reverse Legend:     • c • ˆiPaaP • c
Reverse Description:     An oath-taking scene: man kneeling left, head right, holding pig between two soldiers (one on either side), each holding and leaning on spears in left hand and holding in their right hands swords which they point at pig
Mint:     Campania
Primary Reference:     Campana 86 (D55/R74)
Reference2:     Sydenham 640a
Reference3:     Kestner 3880
Reference4:     BMCRR Social War 40
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Good VF, deeply toned, traces of deposits, reverse struck slightly off center, area of minor flatness of strike on reverse
Notes:     Sale: Triton XI, Lot: 590 Well-centered and boldly struck obverse The revolt of Rome's Italian allies (socii, hence ‘Social War’) broke out toward the close of the year 91 BC and was the culmination of longstanding grievances occasioned by the Senate's inept handling of foreign relations. The Marsi were especially prominent in this movement, hence the name ‘Marsic Confederation’ which is often applied to the rebel state. The main fighting was in the years 90-89 BC and the rebellion assumed alarming proportions when both consuls for 90 BC were defeated by rebel armies. Rome appeared to be in serious danger of defeat, but the movement collapsed as suddenly as it had begun. The victory was probably achieved largely through the political concession of granting Roman citizenship to the enemy. Thereafter, all of Italy south of the Po was united by this common bond. The coinage of the Marsic Confederation is of great interest, consisting principally of silver denarii, some of which bear the names of the rebel generals. This exceptional specimen records a certain Gaius Paapius [Mutilus], consul of the rebel state and commander of the Samnite forces. Mutilus was defeated by Sulla in the later stages of the war and his subsequent history is uncertain, though it is possible that he survived to extreme old age when a wealthy man described as “a leader of the Samnites during the Social War” was proscribed by the Triumviral government in 43 BC (cf. Appian, Civil Wars, iv. 25). The reverse depicts an oath-taking scene symbolizing the unity of the confederation of Italian states. Interestingly, the entire coin type is closely modeled on an issue of the moneyer Tiberius Veturius whose coinage is dated by Crawford (234/1) to circa 137 BC. Veturius' reverse shows two soldiers taking the oath and is generally interpreted as referring to an agreement made with the Samnites in 321 BC (treaty of Caudium). This would have made it especially appropriate for an issue of the Samnite leader in the Social War.