The Thorii of Lanuvium


L. Thorius Balbus, RRC 316

there was a certain Lucius Thorius of Lanuvium, whom you cannot remember; he lived on the principle of enjoying in the fullest measure all the most exquisite pleasures that could possibly be found. His appetite for pleasures was only equalled by his taste and ingenuity in devising them. He was so devoid of superstition as to scoff at all the sacrifices and shrines for which his native place is famous; and so free from fear of death that he died in battle for his country.  Epicurus’s classification of the desires meant nothing to him; he knew no limit but satiety. At the same time he was careful of his health: took sufficient exercise to come hungry and thirsty to table; ate what was at once most appetizing and most digestible; drank enough wine for pleasure and not too much for health. Nor did he forgo those other indulgences in the absence of which Epicurus declares that he cannot understand what Good is. Pain he never experienced at all; had it come to him, he would have borne it with fortitude, yet would have called in a doctor sooner than a philosopher. He had excellent health and a sound constitution. He was extremely popular. In short, his life was replete with pleasure of every variety. Your school pronounces him a happy man, at least your theory requires you to do so. But I place above him — I do not venture to say whom: Virtue herself shall speak for me …

Cic. Fin. 2.63-5

Mid 20s BCE, RPC I 2029


RPC I 2063


Initial thought, ‘Could that ‘boar’ be a bull?!’ Nope it couldn’t!  Great 2016 article by Guney with better specimen:


Though those horns are still super odd.




Fimbria cistophori

Book captioning isn’t leaving lots of time for blogging or other research, but it’s almost done.  Today while doing a little image research I realized I had a photo on file from years back of the Ashmolean specimen of the Fimbria cistophorus (Metcalf 705).  It won’t work for the book as I need the IMPERAT to be legible.  I’ll pay for an image of Boston specimen instead.  Still, I like the photo as it has the tags and shows the back and forth over attribution. (Metcalf endorses Witschonke and Amandry’s attribution to Pergamon now).


Pegasus at Capua

I started thinking about this previous post, when spotting this type from the second Punic War in the back of HN Italy while writing a caption for another Capuan type.  Clearly it owes much to the Corinthian pegasi and all the derivative types.

(same coin two different photos)


Things that strike me as interesting about this type is the bridle on the pegasus.  Not on Siculo-Punic Issues, maybe but not likely on Roman currency bar at least based on BM photo.


Bridles do appear on numismatic pegagoi, just not that often.  The straight out tail is also unusual.

On the obverse the rendering of the goddess’ hair in two large long ringlets is unusual.  My first thought was the ringlets on RRC 39/1:


Or even the ringlets on the personification of Alexandria obv. of RRC 419/2.

Also I want to think about the triple crested helmet in light of Myles McDonnell’s thoughts on the symbolism of the helmet type…

And while were on RRC 39/1, (I’m sure this cannot be a new idea, but) perhaps the horns on this goddess are a misunderstanding of the leaves of the sheaves of grain in Tanit’s hair?!