An Actual Republican Die from France?

Links to entry

Gosh, I wish I knew where this piece ended up and that that place is a museum with a culture of laboratory testing.  There is so much more I want to know about this piece.

Here is part of the sales catalogue entry in English:

For this type, Michael Crawford noted [an estimate of] six mint marks (A, [B unattested in RRC], C, D, E, F, RRC I, table XXXI, p. 383). The author reports that each letter is attached to a single die. This die, found near Orange, in a chance discovery area has been declared to the D.R.A.C. Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in 2005. We determined that it was a die of ​​the Roman Republic for coins struck on behalf of Lucius Fabius Hispaniensis in 82-81 BC . in a traveling workshop (Crawford No 366/2B). This die measures 53 millimeters by 34.5 millimeters and weighs 261.23 grams. The etched portion is 22 millimeters, 18 at beading. This die, in our view, consists of two distinct parts, probably tempered iron carrying the engraving and set in a tapered iron support, definitely soft iron, having a small bulge in the widest part. This money was used to strike the back of the copy of the British Museum (BMC / RR. II, p. 355, n ° 29, pl. C, No. 5, from the collection of the Duke of Blacas). Found in the South East of Gaul by Province (Narbonne), could it be that we are in the presence of a traveling workshop, moving with the troops going to Spain or rather returning to Spain? The die is not voided in anyway. It is not very worn either. It shows no break or trace die of deterioration or surface alteration. It seems official. With the copy of the British Museum, we have evidence that it was used. However, it has an alteration in the legend which seems to prove that the BM specimen was struck before the current state of our die. Finds of dies are exceptional, cf. JB Giard BN / R. I, p. 18, pl. I which lists the seven dies of the time of Augustus and BN / R. II, p. 7-10 that lists nineteen dies for the period between Tiberius and Nero. Most of these coins have been found in Gaul and Spain. The finding of dies of the Republic is exceptional.

3 thoughts on “An Actual Republican Die from France?”

  1. Thankfully, it was acquired by the Museo Arqueológico Nacional in Madrid and is now part of the museum’s permanent exhibition. I could look a bit at this die and at the moment I’m willing to consider it as an official, totally regular RR die, quite possibly the only one ever found until now. I’m planning to examine it more carefully very soon, so we’ll see what comes out of it!

    Charles Parisot-Sillon

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