The accensus

Look at this collection of reverses of 433/1.  Notice that the first individual is clearly not a lictor (no fasces).  He also is bending his knee and holding out his hand.  Why is he doing this?  He’s a Roman citizen clearly from his toga, but how does his body language relate to his ceremonial role?!

Here’s how Lewis and Short define the position:


This may be one of the few iconographic representations of this type of roman ceremonial position.  Must keep an eye out for other accensi.


Sol, Alexander the Great, and Mithridates

And while we’re discussing CRRO 437/1a, I’d just like to point out the similarities between the rendering of Sol on this type and the design of the obverse of 405/5:

On this type and the connection to the coinage of Mithridates Eupator see this early post. For me the the real clue is the poof of hair at the top of the forehead in addition to the snaky free flowing locks.  The up swoop and free locks are both derived ultimately from the portraiture of Alexander the Great:

And of course we must throw into the mix, how Alexander’s iconography in turn effected divine imagery especially the image of Helios on the coinage of the Rhodians:

Notably the same style is also used on 428/3:

SC on the coins of Faustus

Links to entry

So only two of Sulla Faustus’ types have S.C. on them (426/3, 426/4a, and 426/4b).  Both of these also honor Pompey with there types and suppress the name of the moneyer by using ligature.  I wonder if we can’t connect that S.C. with the degree mentioned in Cicero’s letter to his brother:

On the 5th of April, by a decree of the senate, a sum of money amounting to CCCC sestertia was voted to Pompey for the business of the corn-supply. But on the same day there was a vehement debate on the Campanian land, the senators making almost as much noise as a public meeting. The shortness of money and the high price of corn increased the exasperation.

This is in the year 56BC.  Notice the coin type above actually refers to the command over the grain supply.  Here’s Broughton MRR II.211:


Of course numbers in manuscripts are always subject to corruption, but it seems likely that Faustus’ extra minting was because of this!


Cf also this passage from Dio:

The fact, however, that Caesar’s influence was increasing and the people admired his achievements so much that they dispatched men from the senate, on the supposition that the Gauls had been completely subjugated, and that they were so elated by their hopes based on him as to vote him large sums of money, was a cruel thorn in Pompey’s side.

Sulla’s Hercules

Links to entry

So I’ve never been really that in love with the Melqart explanation of this obverse.

Lenaghan L. H. – Hercules-Melqart on a coin of Faustus Sulla. ANSMusN 1964 XI : 131-149.

I’m more interested in how the FEELIX is juxtaposed with this Hercules.  I want to follow up on Sulla’s devotion to Hercules.  Here’s Keaveney in the 2005 edition of his book (orig. 1982):


And a link to that last citation.

Santangelo will have something smart to say on this as well I’m sure… I’ll follower up later.

[CRRO 426/2 entry]

Slaves and Roman Religious Festivals

At some point when I have time, I’d like to read Cicero, On the Responses of the Haruspices 22-27 against Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 7.68.   The former describes the disruption of the festival of Great Mother by Clodius, the latter a legendary event from the time of Coriolanus when a slave accidentally appeared to have led a procession in honor of Jupiter (Cf. Plutarch too).

The religious status or non status of slaves is interesting, as is it to think about what more recent events Dionysius may have been using as lens to understand the legendary past….