Legionary Eagle, Not Crow


On this type, CRRO 509, The identification of the bird as a totemic of Juno Sospita and thus a crow based on literary sources has been widely accepted (see scholarship snippets below; snippets link to originals).  I disagree.  The bird is not perched on the goddess’ shoulder but atop her shield.  Below her shield the terminus end of a rod may be seen.  The bird would appear to any contemporary viewer during the Roman civil wars as legionary eagle, part of the standards of any legion:


In fact legionary eagles and standards are particularly popular as coin types during times of civil war and particularly for campaign coinages.  The types were first developed in 82/81 BCE and revitalized and further developed post 49 BCE.  It’s presence is explained on this coin by the moneyer’s claim to be an Imperator.

A bit of scholarship on the whole crow thing:


Further note to self:  When discussing this series in future be sure to comment on the African Obverses Juxtaposed against the Italic Reverses.

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