Romulus and Mars

So I’m waiting to hear back from the peer-reviewers, but I’m hoping you’ll be able to read an article by me in the AJN this year entitled, ‘Romulus’ Apotheosis (RRC 392)’.  I’m pretty excited about it.  I send it off last September or thereabouts.  It’s all about this type:

CNG 103, lot 637

You’ll have to wait to read it.  The main point of this post is that I found myself looking again at a much earlier republican coin type (RRC 232/1)  in light of my work on the one above and now I’m thinking I need to add a note to that article.

image from

I’m pretty confident in my identification of RRC 392.  I have lots of literary and visual parallels to back me up.  So my big questions are about the attributes of the figure standing next to Mars in this chariot on RRC 232.  Is that a toga?  I think it may well be.  Although it isn’t as well rendered as on other types.  If it is a toga, than I’d be very comfortable calling this an apotheosis scene, celebrating Rome’s divine foundation and continuing divine protection.

If you can tell me why it can’t be a toga, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

There is certainly hierarchy of scale used to distinguish the rear figure from Mars, but I have a hard time agreeing with Crawford that the figure is in any way represented as a captive.  The body position is not humbled; the drapery is not tattered or distressed; there is no restraint; and care has been taken to represent the figure’s right arm as free.

Addendum later the same day.

So as I thought more about the above ideas and how they might make me adjust/tweak the AJN submission, I decided to have a good read through the fragments of Gn. Gellius in new Fragments of the Roman Historians. ( It is widely accepted that the historian and the moneyer are likely to be the same individual.) This has not really clarified my opinion, but rather made me wonder at why Crawford dismissed the Nerio/Neria idea.  It also made me once again think about that drapery.  Is it feminine dress?!  Or is it a toga?  I can’t quite decide.  This is the relevant material from Aulus Gellius Attic Nights 13:



I find myself wondering how this religious conception of the divine intersects with the Divine Qualities discussed in Anna Clark’s book.   I was also surprised the Myles McDonnell didn’t discuss the passage given the reference to the Virites of Quirinus.  Maybe this will be a little conference paper one day…

Ogilvie on Livy:



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