So this is a pretty left field thought. But as I’m thinking about the coins of Teanum I can’t help but think how weird it is to have a triga, a three-horse chariot. It’s not really a well known or convenient hitching configuration. One could speculate that it comes from copying a quadriga type like that found at Selinus or other Sicilian mints where the front horse rather obscures the next one so that it almost looks like a three horse configuration.
And then it occurred to me that we do get a few trigae on the republican series. The first (above) is within a year or so of the first desultor type as well. You’ll remember we discussed desultores in relation to Suessa’s didrachms that parallel Teanum. And those two coins above are also with in a year of the type of Torquatus that looks so much like the bronzes of Larinum. Is there a Cales parallel? Cales just used the victory in a biga, a type all over the republican series so calling one specific issue an echo of Cales would be non-sense. Or just more non-sense than my other non-sense in this post!
Could there have been a little fad for drawing inspiration from old allied coins of the Punic Wars at the end of the second century? Probably not. Let’s call it a fun coincidence.
Update 4/18/14: I came back to this post briefly when I read this passage in Woytek’s chapter in Metcalf’s Handbook (p. 326):
Ritter, H. W. (1982). Zur römischen Münzprägung im 3. Jh. v. Chr. Marburg.
Update 4/30/14: On die engravers making errors in the number of horses they carve when copying a prototype, see:
Hollstein, Wilhelm. – Ein kurioser Quadrigatus im Kestner-Museum Hannover. NNB 1996 45 (9) : 8. AP Abstract: Among the Quadrigati the museum (=> 60-10031) is a specimen (No. 107), in which the Quadriga has five horses with ten front, but eight hind legs.