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Roman Republic, Anonymous, AR Quadrigatus or Didrachm, c. 225-214 BC

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Information: Pierluigi Debernardi and Steve Brinkman in “A New Arrangement for RRC 53/2”, Revue Numismatique 2018, suggest that the dot symbol is connected with the Cornelii Lentuli. This identification is supported by a fourfold match between coinage and moneyers: (1) Lilybaeum, Sicily 214-212 BC, P. Cornelius Lentulus praetor: quadrigatus (RRC 31 – this coin type); (2) Bovianum 212, Cn. Cornelius Lentulus quaestor: denarius (RRC 44/5) with/without dot; (3) Sardinia 211 BC, L. Cornelius Lentulus praetor: denarius and quinarius with dot (RRC 66); (4) Apulia 210-209 BC, L. Cornelius Lentulus legatus of Marcellus pro-cos: XX gold asses with dot. Mark Passehl suggested this brilliant association to the authors, the dot or pellet being a lentil, in Latin lens or lenticulae, a punning symbol for the Lentuli. This symbol is found not only on the several series mentioned in the above paper, but also on the Sardinian series RRC 66, which comprises not only the quinarius described in RRC, but also a denarius ( [Andrew McCabe]
Origin: Rome, uncertain mint
Authority: Anonymous
Denomination: AR Quadrigatus or Didrachm
Composition: Silver
Date: Circa 225-214 BC
Obverse: Head of Janus, laureate, with slight whiskers indicated by two locks of hair; pellet below neck, which is indented
Reverse: Jupiter hurling thunderbolt with right hand and holding sceptre in left, in quadriga right, driven by Victory; horses galloping; l below, on tablet, ROMA (incuse)
Size: 20.74mm, 6.5g, 11h
Grade: gVF, lovely old cabinet tone
Provenance: Pedigreed: from the Andrew McCabe Collection, ex Freeman & Sear FPL 8 (Fall 2003), no. 270
References: Crawford 31/1; Sydenham 64c; RSC I 23a; cf. BMCRR II Romano-Campanian 100 (ROMA partially in relief); cf. RBW 80 (for obverse style–narrow head) and 81 (for pellet below neck)
General: The quadrigatus was issued by the Roman Republic during the 3rd century BC before the standardisation of the denarius. On the obverse is Janus, the god of beginnings and endings. He is represented as having two faces in opposite directions, one looking into the future, the other looking into the past. On the reverse, is Jupiter, the king of the gods, and the equivalent of the greek god Zeus. He is shown riding on a quadriga, a chariot driven by four hourses, for which this coin derives its name.
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